First recorded by Bert Weedon (UK #24 1960).
Other hit versions by The Shadows (UK #1 1960), Jørgen Ingmann (US #2/R&B #9 1961), Sonny James (US #86 1961), The Sugarhill Gang (R&B #13 1982).
Also recorded by Incredible Bongo Band (1973), Fat Boy Slim (1998).
From the wiki: “‘Apache’ was written by Jerry Lordan. Bill Weedon was the first to record ‘Apache’ (in May 1960) but it went unreleased for several months. According to Weedon:
‘Francis, Day & Hunter sent me the music early in 1960. I immediately liked the tune and so arranged and recorded it for release later on in the year. In February I was contacted by Jerry Lordan who asked me when I was going to release it, and I explained that I would put it out in September because this was when most people bought records. I told him not to worry, that it was done, and it would be out. A few months later I heard that The Shadows had covered it. Nothing wrong with that of course, they were fully entitled to.’
“As happened, The Shadows were on tour in mid-1960 with Lordan as a supporting act. The band discovered ‘Apache’ when Lordan played it for them on a ukulele. Lordan figured the tune would be a better fit for The Shadows; the band agreed, and so did the buying public. By the time the Weedon recording was hurriedly but belatedly released, The Shadows’ version was quickly vaulting to #1 on the UK Singles chart. However, neither the Shadows nor Weedon had any impact on North America.
“In North America, the tune is identified most with Jørgen Ingmann, a Jazz guitarist from Denmark. His 1961 cover version, credited to ‘Jørgen Ingmann and His Guitar’, made it to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on the US R&B chart. A vocal version was later recorded that year by Sonny James. It peaked at #86 on the Hot 100.
“The first Incredible Bongo Band album, Bongo Rock, released in 1973, included a cover of ‘Apache’ (also a cover of ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’). It had no chart impact and languished in relative obscurity until the late 1970s when its riff was adopted by early Hip-hop artists, including pioneering DJs Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash. (The drum fill was played by legendary drummer Jim Gordon.) Subsequently, The Incredible Bongo Band’s ‘Apache’ break remains a staple for many contemporary Hip-hop producers including Fatboy Slim.”
The Shadows, “Apache” (1960):
Jørgen Ingmann, “Apache” (1961):
Sonny James, “Apache” (1961):
Incredible Bongo Band, “Apache” (1973):
Sugarhill Gang, “Apache (Jump On It)” (1982):
Fatboy Slim, “Apache” (1998):
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