A History of the "Apache" Breakbeat

Jorgen Ingmann and His Guitar "Apache" (1961)

Album: Apache
Label: Atco
Producer: N/A

America didn't need Cliff Richard in the early '60s-it already had its own Elvis, thanks-but clearly "Apache" needed to set foot on the soil that inspired it. Who better to do so than a future Eurovision Song Contest winner? Grethe and Jorgen Ingmanna Danish wife-and-husband singer-and-guitarist teamtopped the 1963 edition of the fabled event with the jaunty, B-musical-ready "Dansevise (I Loved You)," but two years earlier Jorgen had scored something sweeter on his own: a U.S. No. 1. In Ingmann's hands, "Apache" was airier, but its tom-tom beat evoked Native American drumming, while the guitar, not echoed but answered by slide squeals, evoked the Pacific Island pop then in vogue via the living-room exotica of Les Baxter and Martin Denny. It also cemented the melody as one of pop's most enduring.

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