The Shadows are Britain’s most successful instrumental and vocal group with a grand total of 69 (including twelve No.1’s) UK hit singles: 35 (including five No.1’s) as ‘The Shadows’ and 34 (including seven No.1’s) as ‘Cliff Richard and The Shadows’, from the 1950s to the 2000s.
They are the third most successful act in the UK singles chart, behind Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard.
Formed in 1958 as a backing band for Cliff Richard under the name the Drifters, the original members were founder Ken Pavey, Terry Smart on drums, Norman Mitham on guitar, Ian Samwell on guitar and Harry Webb (before he became Cliff Richard) on guitar and vocals.
In 1960, “Apache”, an instrumental by Jerry Lordan, topped the charts for five weeks. Further hits followed, notably “Wonderful land”, another Lordan composition with orchestral backing, at the top of the charts for eight weeks. “Kon tiki” six months earlier had also reached number one.
The Shadows disbanded in 1968 but Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch subsequently formed a vocal–guitar trio Marvin Welch & Farrar. The Shadows reformed in 1973 with Brian Bennett as a full member.
They permanently disbanded in 1990 but temporarily reformed in 2004-05 for a UK and European tour and again during 2008–10 to tour with Cliff Richard.