Gerry & the Pacemakers

One of the original Merseybeat bands who took the pop world by storm with The Beatles, Gerry & the Pacemakers created a chart record that stood for nearly 20 years (until equaled by another Liverpool band, Frankie Goes to Hollywood) by going to Number 1 with their first three singles. The original 1959 line-up of Gerry and Freddie Marsden with Les Chadwick and Arthur Mack were originally called Gerry Marsden and the Mars Bars, but they changed to Gerry & the Pacemakers after a complaint from the makers of Mars chocolate bars. They cut their teeth playing at Liverpool's Cavern and the Hamburg bar scene and were the second band signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein. The Beatles were the first to record the Mitch Murray song “How Do You Do It?”, but when the Fab Four decided not to release it, Gerry & the Pacemakers recorded it instead, releasing it as their first single in 1963 and establishing their reputation as a jangly feel-good band. Their second single, “I Like It”, was also a Number 1 and they then bravely changed course with a big ballad version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein showtune “You'll Never Walk Alone” from the musical Carousel. It brought them a hat trick of Number 1s and went on to become an unexpected anthem of Liverpool Football Club. The group never had another chart-topper after that, although “Ferry Cross the Mercy”, the theme song to the movie of the same name in which they featured, was another major hit in 1964, and went went to Number 1 25 years later when revived as a celebrity charity single (with Gerry Marsden joined by Paul McCartney and Holly Johnson) to raise money for victims of the Hillsborough football disaster, where many Liverpool fans died. The Pacemakers stopped getting hits by the end of the 1960s, although Gerry Marsden remained a popular TV personality, cabaret act and star of musicals, and the band still occasionally reunite for oldies tours. Gerry Marsden passed away January 3, 2021 in Merseyside.

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Stations Featuring Gerry & the Pacemakers

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