I Need You Now – 1954

“I Need You Now” is a popular song written by Al Jacobs and Jimmie Crane.

The recorded version by Eddie Fisher, issued by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-5830, reached #1 on the Billboard and Cash Box charts in 1954.

The song was also performed by Russell Arms on several 1954 episodes of the popular TV series Your Hit Parade. A kinescope of one of these performances survives and can be viewed online.

The song had been written for Joni James and recorded by her in April 1953 for M-G-M Records. The music had also come before Eddie Fisher and he recorded a version of it a week later for RCA Victor Records. Because M-G-M had already had three major songs scheduled in sequence for release (“My Love My Love” and “I’ll Never Stand in Your Way” and “I Need You Now,” all done at the same recording session!) when the Fisher version was released it was not possible for M-G-M to market the James original at that point. Joni James was able to place her version eventually on the best-selling album “Let There Be Love” and then seven years later recorded a new version of “I Need You Now” at Abbey Road Studios in London. This information from Wayne Brasler, president of the Joni James International Fan Club. Jacobs and Crane later gave James another song “My Believing Heart,” which became the followup to her million selling “You Are My Love.”

Recorded versions

Floyd Cramer
Ronnie Dove
Eddie Fisher with Hugo Winterhalter’s orchestra and chorus recorded it at Webster Hall, New York City, on May 4, 1954. The song was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-5830 (in USA) and by EMI on the His Master’s Voice label as catalog number B 10755.
Wanda Jackson (1962)
Harry James
Joni James
Betty Johnson
Hank Locklin (1964)