100 Great Songs From The British Invasion: 1963-1966: ‘Needles and Pins’- The Searchers. In 1964 the center of the music universe was Liverpool- due in large part from the attention The Beatles gave to the cities Merseybeat sound. The Searchers were formed in 1959- as a skiffle group. The took their name from the great John Ford film The Searchers- which starred The Duke – John Wayne. They would have more success in their native UK than in the US- in the US they had 7 Top 40 hits- their biggest being ‘Love Potion #9’- #3 in 1964. Their hits were covers- ‘Needles And Pins- was a song that according to the source – Sonny Bono- was written by Sonny and arranger, songwriter, composer and producer- Jack Nitzsche [who was Phil Spector’s right hand man]– according to Jackie DeShannon she had a hand in it – although she is not credited.
Jackie DeShannon released the first version of the song in 1963- it peaked at #84 in the US- but it was a #1 hit in Canada. The Searchers were in Hamburg,Germany when they heard a British singer Cliff Bennett sing the song- and they were convinced they wanted this to be their next single. They had a hit on their hands- it would peak at #13 in the US- while going to #1 in the UK. The song was produced by Tony Hatch- who is best known as Petula Clark’s producer.
Single: ‘Needles And Pins’- The Searchers/ Written by Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono/ Record Company- Kapp/ Time: 2:14/ Released January 7, 1965 in UK/ Produced by Tony Hatch/ Peaked at #13 in US Billboard Hot 100, #1 in UK Singles Chart.