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Jerry Lordan

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As a child Lordan taught himself to play piano and guitar. He attended Finchley Catholic High School and went into National Service in the Royal Air Force as a radar operator. On leaving the Services he had a number of jobs including stand-up comedian, singer and in advertising. He started to write songs and, in 1958, with the help of contacts made in the advertising business, a demo of one of his songs was heard by a record producer. The song, “A House, A Car and a Wedding Ring” was recorded by Mike Preston on Decca Records. It did not sell well, but the song was successfully covered by the American rockabilly star, Dale Hawkins, on the Checker label.

A later song, “I’ve Waited So Long” was recorded by the young Anthony Newley on Decca and got to number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in May 1959.[2] Lordan was signed as a singer to Parlophone and had three charting singles in 1960, the most successful being “Who Could Be Bluer?”

But it was as a songwriter that he found real fame when he wrote the instrumental, “Apache” (named after a Burt Lancaster film). It was originally recorded by Bert Weedon, but Lordan did not like the version. Weedon’s label, Top Rank, did not release it immediately. On tour with The Shadows, Lordan demonstrated the song to bass player Jet Harris, reportedly picking out the tune on a ukelele. When the rest of the band heard it, they agreed to record it. It was released in July 1960 and hit number one in August, staying at the top for five weeks.

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