FCS Daily Music Video – ‘Needle in a Haystack’ The Velvelettes

Ian Levine record producer

Basically, for everyone who ever loved Motown, this one just has it ALL. The right group, the right song, the right dresses, and the right performance. This song literally SCREAMS Motown, and justifies everything I ever tried to achieve with Motorcity Records. It all began for me while growing up. At fourteen years old, I discovered the joy of listening to The Velvelettes “Needle In A Haystack”, not once, not twice, but probably twenty times a day. I knew every word, every nuance, of Cal Gill’s amazingly plaintive vocal. The more obscure Motown groups fascinated me far more than the obvious ones. Which is why, when I started Motorcity, I sought out The Velvelettes and re-recorded my beloved favourite, this amazing classic, “Needle In A Haystack”. And these Velvelettes were all four original girls. Not a substitution in sight. I continued to record them over the next few years, releasing their first ever album, something which, at the time, they had never achieved at Motown.

When this video was filmed, on a hot August night in 1990, all four original members, Cal, Bertha, Norma, and Millie, were all on top form.


1990 performance

Original 1964 release



Don Matthews
June 2021




Published by donmatthewspoetry

I just like playing round with words. And having fun

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