Together with The Beatles
, Gerry and the Pacemakers was one of the
prime exponents of the 1960's Liverpool
sound that would become known as
. The band's lineup consisted of:
Gerry Marsden, and his brother Freddy began their
musical career in the fifties, playing in several rock and roll bands and
skiffle groups around Liverpool. Eventually, Gerry
formed his own band, the Mars Bars with his brother Freddy on drums,
and Arthur Mack on piano (to be replaced by Leslie Maguire in 1961.
When Les Chadwick joined the band in 1959, they became Gerry and the
Pacemakers. Gerry was still working for British Railways, but in 1960
the band turned professional.
During that time, many groups from the Liverpool area were offered to
play in Hamburg, Germany. Gerry and the Pacemakers also made the
crossing, and had a two month stay at the Top Ten Club, before
returning to Liverpool. Soon after this, the band came second in a
Merseybeat poll, generating a lot of publicity for the band;
sufficient publicity to interest manager Brian Epstein, who had
previously signed The Beatles. Produced by George Martin, the band
released their first single, How Do You Do It? (3/1963), a song that
initially was rejected by The Beatles (see their Anthology I album.)
The song went to number one on the UK Charts until The Beatles' From Me
to You pushed them off the top spot. From this time on, Gerry and The
Pacemakers were considered to be the prime competition for The Beatles.
The next two singles, I Like It (5/1963), and especially You'll
Never Walk Alone (10/1963) were also very popular, and also reached the
top spot in the UK Charts. No other band had ever achieved three number
one spots on the UK Charts in one year. You'll Never Walk
Alone would become an "anthem" for Liverpool FC fans.
Following the three successful singles, Gerry and the Pacemaker's
popularity steadily dropped, although their success in the U.S. still kept
them going for a while. Much like The Beatles, the group starred in
their own film, Ferry 'Cross the Mersey. The film wasn't a great
success, but the accompanying album is without doubt their best
Like many other British bands, Gerry and the Pacemakers weren't able
to further evolve their music, and eventually they were surpassed in a
big way by The Beatles. Gerry and the Pacemakers
disbanded in 1966.