23/12/15 – The Shadows – Apache – 1960 / FBI – 1961

Song Of The Day

The Shadows - 1960 - B:WSchool friends Brian Robson Rankin and Bruce Cripps left Newcastle in the late fifties and travelled to London where they struggled to survive until they joined up with Daniel Joseph Anthony Meehan and Terence Harris in 1958 to become members of The Drifters – Cliff Richard’s backing band. Soon after they changed their name to The Shadows and the individual members became better known as Tony Meehan, Jet Harris, Bruce Welch and Hank Marvin.

Tony Meehan left in 1961 to be replaced by longtime drummer Brian Bennet and Jet Harris left in 1962 to be replaced by Brian “Licorice” Locking, one ponders Hank Marvin’s relief at having changed his name when he did. John Rostill replaced Locking in the long term. Meehan had left to produce and arrange, Harris to continue as a musician but the two of them formed a duo and continued to have hits in their own right, their first, Diamonds going to No.1 in the UK in 1963 and featuring Jimmy Page on rhythm guitar. But the success story of the Shadows is unprecedented as they emerged from behind the star they were supposed to be backing – the three most successful singles acts in the UK are Elvis, Cliff and The Shadows.

When you see these videos and think of the times, in the Apache clip Jet Harris’ ‘attitude’ with his cigarette would have been seen as rebellious. The dance routine that followed in the FBI clip performing on popular kid’s show Crackerjack, reflects the cabaret and variety show tastes of the day that all bands complied with however rebellious they were. Innovators and influential, Harris has been credited with introducing the Fender bass to Britain and Marvin with popularising the Fender Stratocaster. What’s most interesting is that a band could be so successful as an instrumental group – that too reflects the times.

Jet Harris died aged 7i in 2011, a heavy smoker he had struggled with alcoholism for many years before finally quitting. Tony Meehan died in 2005 aged 62 after falling downstairs at his home. John Rostill died in 1973 after being electrocuted in his home studio, it was Bruce Welch that found found the body.

An archive without the Shadows wouldn’t be an archive, there would be gaping hole as there is now in the Hip Hop department. On that subject, IDMA needs sub departments, dedicated to the music that I don’t listen too so much, but then the classical department although stocked with records needs an expert to expose them to the people. In the meantime with The Beatles being streamed from today along with lesser known talents, be glad that there is so much music out there to discover from Erykah Badu to Vashti Bunyan, Stravinsky to Anette Peacock, Black Sabbath to FKA Twigs and someone you’ve never heard of.

A very Happy Christmas from the secret corners of the archive’s treasures, from the obscurities and the unrealised gems hidden in plain view. Now who wants to help me find or even invest in a nice big building to hold this treasure trove of inspiration from 2016 into the future – any location in the world would most certainly be considered. Archive, cafe, daycare, studio, concert venue, guitar lessons, lectures, songwriting workshops, record store – a factory of music for everyone to discover, create and perform – bring it on and thanks for reading.









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5 Responses to “23/12/15 – The Shadows – Apache – 1960 / FBI – 1961”

  1. Glissader December 23, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

    If a shipping container full of $100 bills fell out of the sky and landed on my doorstep, I would give such an endeavor first crack at my find.

  2. alienskinmusic December 23, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    Cheers Marty, thank you so much for all the music you helped me discover or rediscover over the course of the year and for the manner in which you can paint such vivid imagery when discussing specific songs and music art in general. May you & yours have a brilliant holiday season, safe & full of mirth!

  3. Mr Wisdoms Whopper December 23, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

    And a Merry Christmas to you and your family Marty. Thanks for the interesting and informative music and accompanying notes.

  4. simone December 24, 2015 at 12:24 am #

    What would British music be without The Shadows. My mum has quite a nice little collection of 45’s with Apache part of that. Apparently when I was little I used to ask mum to “play the Hawaiian guitar song”!!
    Another guitar band I grew up with was the Australian equivalent in The Atlantics – their song Bombora was one of my grandpa’s favourites.
    But back to the hit Apache…while The Shadows version is the original they didn’t break into the US market with this. The person who did was Danish jazz guitarist Jørgen Ingmann who recorded a version in 1961 went to #1 in Canada, #2 in the US and #6 in Germany. In 1963 he and his wife Grethe represented Denmark at Eurovision. Ingmann passed away on March 21 2015 aged 89. Here is the link below to his version.
    A safe and peaceful Christmas Marty to you and your family, and as Abba once said “thank you for the music”. xx

  5. delay plus chorus December 24, 2015 at 9:30 am #

    Cool band. And tangentially, Cliff Richard could make an interesting writeup on his own — apparently he’s sold a staggering number of records (250 million, says WP), but I don’t think he ever had much of a profile here in the States. Crazy on both counts.

    Back to the Shadows, I love watching these old videos and wondering where the instruments wound up — that vintage Jazzmaster would be worth quite a lot today. So too the Strats, I imagine.

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