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Encyclopedia > Gerry and the Pacemakers

Gerry & the Pacemakers was a British rock and roll group during the 1960s, and one of the few groups to challenge the Beatles in popularity. Like the Beatles, they came from Liverpool and were also managed by Brian Epstein.

Gerry and the Pacemakers, 1963

Gerry Marsden formed the group in the late 1950s with Fred Marsden (his brother), Les Chadwick and Arthur Mack. They rivalled the Beatles early in their career, playing in the same areas of Hamburg, Germany and Liverpool, England. They began recording in 1963 with "How Do You Do It?"; the song became a #1 hit.

Their next two songs, "I Like It" and "You'll Never Walk Alone", both reached no. 1 in the UK -- the first time this feat had ever been achieved (first three singles by a performer all reach no. 1). Despite this early success, Gerry and the Pacemakers never had another number one single in the UK.

Marsden began writing most of their own songs, including "It's All Right" and "Ferry Cross the Mersey". The band also starred in a moderately successful film called Ferry Cross the Mersey. By 1965, though, their popularity was rapidly declining on both sides of the Atlantic and they soon seemed un-hip. They disbanded in 1966 (see 1966 in music). Gerry Marsden maintained a career as a television personality, and starred in the West End musical, Charlie Girl.

  Results from FactBites:
Gerry and The Pacemakers (586 words)
Gerry Marsden became a popular cabaret and children's TV entertainer, sometimes performing with his former bandmates on the oldies circuit.
Gerry reformed The Pacemakers in 1974 after 8 years as a solo artist, touring the world.
In this compelling story, Gerry Marsden emerges as a driven man, an artist with enormous confidence and a unique spirit, from his streetwise boyhood and early love of music to his friendship and keen rivalry with the Beatles, hunger for fame and hard won success, his story is one of grit, warmth, humour and determination.
  More results at FactBites »



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