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Gerry and The Pacemakers

Liverpool legend Gerry Marsden passed away in January 2021 but in his later career he toured with Showcase Entertainment Group on a run of tours in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Each tour had a special guest being Shane Cortese in 2009, Herman’s Hermits in 2011 and The Searchers in 2013, which made the shows very special for the audience.

Here is the blurb from his final visit to our shores in 2013.

It was called the British Invasion… From 1964 – 1966, the USA and the rest of the world couldn’t get enough of British pop groups. What began with The Beatles take over of America set off by their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, soon opened the door for fellow Liverpool band also managed by the mercurial Brian Epstein, Gerry & The Pacemakers led by Gerry Marsden and Manchester band Herman’s Hermits to follow, and in the sixties what was big in British and American pop culture soon spread down under to New Zealand.

Following Gerry’s successful 2009 and 2011 Concert Hall tours of New Zealand Gerry returns for his final tour of New Zealand in 2013 with fellow British Invasion legends The Searchers as special guests.

50 years ago in 1959 Gerry Marsden formed the group with his brother, Fred, Les Chadwick and Arthur McMahon. They rivaled the Beatles early in their career, playing in the same areas of Hamburg, Germany and at the famed Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.

The band was the second to sign with Brian Epstein, who later signed them with Columbia Records (a sister label to The Beatles label Parlophone under EMI). They began recording in early 1963 with “How Do You Do It?”, a song written by Mitch Murray that Adam Faith had turned down and one that The Beatles chose not to release (they did record the song but chose to release their own song “Please Please Me”). The song was produced by George Martin and became a number one hit in the UK, until being replaced at the top by “From Me to You”, The Beatles’ third single.

Gerry and The Pacemakers’ next two singles, Murray’s “I Like It” and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, both also reached number one in the UK Singles Chart. Never before had the first three singles by a performer all reached the top spot (the feat would not be bettered until The Spice Girls did it in the 90’s). In the halcyon days of 1963 Gerry & The Pacemakers enjoyed the status of being one of Britain’s most popular bands and were on tour with The Beatles as well as topping bills in their own right. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” had been a favourite of Gerry Marsden’s since seeing Carousel growing up. It soon became the signature tune of Liverpool Football Club. To this day, the song remains a football anthem, there and elsewhere, a phenomenon due to Gerry Marsden, rather than its Broadway composers.

Despite this early success, Gerry & The Pacemakers never had another number one single in the UK. Gerry Marsden began writing most of their own songs, including “It’s Gonna Be All Right”, “I’m the One”, and “Ferry Cross the Mersey”, as well as their first and biggest U.S. hit, “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying”, which peaked at #4.

They also starred in an early 1965 film called Ferry Cross the Mersey (sometimes referred to as “Gerry & The Pacemakers’ version of A Hard Day’s Night”), for which Marsden wrote much of the soundtrack. The title song was revived in the 1980s as a charity single for a ferry disaster appeal, giving Gerry another British number one in association with other Liverpool stars, including Paul McCartney and Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Holly Johnson. Additionally You’ll never walk alone hit the No. 1 spot in the 1980’s when rerecorded by Gerry and a celebrity ensemble to raise money for the Bradford Football Club’s stadium fire disaster.

Herman’s Hermits, who are one of the most successful groups throughout the world. From their beginning in Manchester, England, on April 1st 1964, the band has chalked up over 23 hit singles, 10 hit albums, 3 major movies and countless television shows and concert tours all over the world – up to date they have total record sales of over 75 million.
Gerry’s Hits include: Ferry cross the Mersey, I like it, You’ll never walk alone, How do you do it, Don’t let the sun catch you crying, I’ll be there.