Part of the 1960s Merseybeat boom that turned Liverpool into a city full of cheery, mop-topped pop stars, The Searchers initially formed as a skiffle band after hearing Lonnie Donegan's hit Rock Island Line in 1959. Led by John McNally and named after a John Wayne film, the band followed the same path as The Beatles, learning their trade at Liverpool's Cavern Club before working a residency at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany, and returning to the UK just in time for the British beat boom. Inspired by American soul and R&B, early rock'n'roll and classic crooning showtunes, their sweet, twanging guitar pop sent debut single Sweets For My Sweet (originally by The Drifters) to the top of the UK charts in 1963 with follow-up Sugar And Spice reaching Number 2. Albums Meet The Searchers (1963), Sugar And Spice (1963) and It's The Searchers (1964) all made the UK top five and they scored two more Number 1 singles with Needles And Pins and Don't Throw Your Love Away. The melodic sound of Mike Pender's 12-string guitar would later influence The Byrds and a host of folk rock groups, and the band found success in the US with hits Love Potion No.9, Bumble Bee and When You Walk In The Room; but by the mid-60s trends changed and their popularity waned. After over 50 years in the business McNally was still touring with a new version of the band, enjoying the vintage nostalgia of some of the era's finest pop hits.