Thursday, May 28, 2009

Beatle People: Gerry Marsden

Gerry Marsden (born Gerard Marsden on 24 September 1942 in Dingle, Liverpool, England) is an English musician and television personality, best known for being leader of the British band Gerry & The Pacemakers.

Marsden's interest in music began at an early age. He remembers standing on top of an air raid shelter singing "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" and getting a great reception from onlookers. He said to himself then, "This is what I want to do."

Gerry & The Pacemakers were the second group signed by Brian Epstein and remained among his favorite artists. Their first single was "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. Marsden said the recording took four or five takes. The band's second number one was "I Like It," followed by "You'll Never Walk Alone." Other singles included "It's Gonna Be Alright" (their "heaviest" song), "I'm the One," "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying," and "Ferry Cross the Mersey."

After leaving the Pacemakers — his brother Fred Marsden, Les Maguire and Les Chadwick—Gerry Marsden maintained a low-key career on television, and starred in the West End musical Charlie Girl alongside Derek Nimmo and Anna Neagle.

He is most remembered for the song "I Like It" and his rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone," which has been adopted as an anthem of several football clubs, the most notable being Liverpool, the club that Marsden supports. He sang the song at Wembley Stadium when Everton faced Liverpool at the 1989 F.A. Cup final shortly after the Hillsborough disaster.

The Pacemakers, albeit with different musicians, still tour today and are a popular oldies draw on the circuit.

Marsden returned to No. 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." After the Hillsborough football ground tragedy of 1989 which left 96 dead, 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."

Marsden's favorite recordings are "Ferry Cross the Mersey," "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" and "You'll Never Walk Alone."

In 1993, Gerry Marsden published his autobiography, I'll Never Walk Alone, co-written with former Melody Maker editor Ray Coleman.


1 comment:

Ben Mc said...

Id just like to point out that gerry supported and still does support Everton FC like the rest of his family. I know this because Im his cousin.