What band began as a skiffle group in Liverpool in the late 50s, played local venues, traveled to Hamburg in 1962, returned home and scored one hit after another through the early 60s? OK, here’s another hint: They sang in intricate three-part harmonies, and one of them played a Rickenbacker guitar.
Actually two groups share this history: We don’t have to tell you the first. The second is perhaps the most underrated band of the British Invasion, the Searchers.
They took their name from the title of the 1956 Western starring John Wayne. Like the Beatles, the Searchers sang covers of American R&B songs at Liverpool’s Cavern and Iron Door before a four-month gig in Hamburg at the Star Club, where they played three shows a night.
Back in Liverpool, the Searchers signed on with Pye Records, and Tony Hatch became their producer. Hatch played piano on some recordings and wrote “Sugar and Spice” — the band’s second number one record — under the name Fred Nightingale; a secret he kept from the band at the time. [Read more...]