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 Merseybeat. 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 work.

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.


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