- Sep 24, 1942
- Jan 03, 2021
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Gerard Marsden MBE (24 September 1942 – 3 January 2021) was an English musician and television personality, best known for being leader of the Merseybeat band Gerry and the Pacemakers. […]
Gerry and the Pacemakers formed in the late 1950s; they were the second group signed by Brian Epstein, the first being the Beatles, and remained among his favourite artists. Their first single was 1963’s “How Do You Do It?“, recommended by George Martin after it was initially given to the Beatles. This was the first number one hit for the Pacemakers. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and was released on EMI’s Columbia label.
The group’s second number one was “I Like It”, followed by “You’ll Never Walk Alone“, both released later in 1963. Other singles included “It’s Gonna Be Alright“, “I’m the One“, “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying” and “Ferry Cross the Mersey“, all released in 1964.
The Pacemakers disbanded in October 1966. After leaving the group, Marsden maintained a low-key career on television, and starred in the West End musical Charlie Girl alongside Derek Nimmo and Anna Neagle.
Marsden returned to #1 in the charts twice during the 1980s with re-recordings of two of his old hits, with all profits going to charity. In 1985 after the Bradford Football Club stadium tragedy in which 56 were killed, he formed a group called the Crowd, which included other musicians, singers and radio disc jockeys, to produce a new version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.
On 18 April 1989, three days after the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 Liverpool F.C. fans ultimately died as a result of their injuries, he joined forces with Paul McCartney, the Christians, Holly Johnson and his production trio Stock, Aitken & Waterman on a new version of “Ferry Cross the Mersey”. […]
Gerry was a mate from our early days in Liverpool. He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene. His unforgettable performances of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’ remain in many people’s hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music. My sympathies go to his wife Pauline and family. See ya, Gerry. I’ll always remember you with a smile.Paul McCartney, From Paul McCartney’s Facebook page, January 3, 2021
From The Argus, October 25, 2013:
Like The Beatles, Gerry And The Pacemakers worked long hours in Hamburg clubs for years before they released records and Brian Epstein managed the band.
“The Beatles and us were on-stage rivals but off stage we were the best of mates. John Lennon was my best pal but we never wrote together. I’d say to John ‘Do you want a hand? I’ll help you’. And he’d politely say p*** off.”
Gerry and Macca still meet up today for a natter and to reminisce.
The Beatles’ Please Please Me, the fab four’s first number one, is the song Gerry most wishes he’d written.
“Brian Epstein played it to me just before it was released. He played it and after a minute I said, ‘That’s a number one, Brian.’ He said, ‘You think so?’ and I said, ‘I know so. Great melody, great lyrics, great guitar.’”
But Gerry, who says he never recorded a song he didn’t like, hasn’t always been able to spot a hit.
“You think you might have a good idea then occasionally one would shock you. When Paul McCartney did Mull Of Kintyre I was in Australia doing a radio show. They said ‘Gerry, this is Paul’s new record. What do you think of that?’ I said that’s crap. Absolute rubbish. It’ll do nothing. It sold 47 million records.”
Last updated on January 4, 2021