Much of my childhood was spent in the early ’50s, when a lot of the music on British radio was stuff like (How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window? and You’re a Pink Toothbrush, I’m a Blue Toothbrush. When Rock ’n Roll came along, it was like the scene in The Wizard of Oz where the World changes from black-and-white to colour.
Although they were virtually unknown in the US (owing largely, apparently, to incompetent promotion—particularly of their first hit, Apache), the influence of The Shadows on British music was incalculable—not only on many of the leading rock guitarists of the next generation (such as George Harrison, Brian May and Eric Clapton), but also on “foreigners” such as Neil Young, and even on the lutenist Nigel North.
This is a track from their début album, a cover of a Santo & Johnny tune that was a massive hit in the States.
The Shadows’ version is markedly different from the original, which was played on a Hawaiian (i.e. slide) guitar. If you want any proof of how innovative the Shadows were, compare the bass-line of the original with Jet Harris’s, especially in the middle eight.