Friday, February 7, 2014

Jørgen Ingmann -- "Apache" (1961)

Jerry Lordan was an English singer and songwriter who is best known as the composer of the instrumental "Apache," which was a #1 hit in the UK for the Shadows in 1960.  

Danish guitarist Jørgen Ingmann recorded "Apache" the next year, and his version (which has a more experimental sound) was a #1 hit in Canada and a #2 hit in the U.S.

I've never played a guitar, and know next to nothing about guitar technique.  So I asked Mike Woods, a versatile guitarist who's been playing professionally in the Washington, DC, area for many years, to comment on Ingmann's version of "Apache."  Here's what he had to say:

I hear a lot of sliding up the string from a low note to a higher one.  That's not unusual at all, but [Jørgen Ingmann] took it to an extreme.   Also, he switches from a clear, ringing tone to a more muffled one; that's done by letting your right hand rest LIGHTLY on the strings while you pick.  It makes the note thump a little rather than twang.  

And there's a sound in there that seems to go "whip-whip" from time to time.  I THINK that's a matter of sweeping the pick up and down a string -- I'd describe it as "grating" rather than "plucking" or "picking." 
I hear something like an autoharp just before the one-minute mark and just after the two-minute mark.

The Incredible Bongo Band -- the creation of Michael Viner, a movie and record producer and audiobook publisher -- covered "Apache" in 1973.  The long percussion break in the middle of that cover was sampled by so many hip-hop producers that it has been called "the national anthem of hip-hop."

Here's a terrific documentary about "Apache" and the early days of hip-hop -- you should really watch it.

Here's Jørgen Ingmann's recording of "Apache":

Here's the Incredible Bongo Band's cover of "Apache":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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