Monday, September 14, 2015

Gerry and the Pacemakers - Voice Your Choice

Gerry and the Pacemakers were a pop-rock Merseybeat band from Liverpool. Apart from group leader Gerry Marsden on vocals, the Pacemakers were Leslie Maguire (piano), John Chadwick (bass), and brother Freddie Marsden (drums).

In late 1962, Gerry and the Pacemakers were the second band to be signed up by Brian Epstein - the Beatles were the first. When the Beatles rejected Mitch Murray's light-hearted "How Do You Do It", Epstein told the record producer George Martin that he had just the group to do it. On 22 January 1963, Gerry and the Pacemakers traveled from Liverpool to London to record the song.

The single went to No l, as did its cheeky follow-up, "I Like It". Having seen Paul McCartney's success around the Liverpool clubs with "Over the Rainbow", Gerry and the Pacemakers wanted a similar, emotional show-stopper and they picked "You'll Never Walk Alone" from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. With George Martin's arrangement, they became the first UK beat group to record with strings. They also became the first act to reach No l with their first three singles. "You'll Never Walk Alone" was subsequently adopted by Liverpool football club and became the Kop anthem.

The group was featured on scooters for the film Ferry Cross The Mersey (1965), which was written by the creator of Coronation Street, Tony Warren. Although the plot is trite, the film offers invaluable views of Merseyside sights and clubs of the Sixties. The title song, written by Gerry Marsden, charted for the group in 1965. "There were lots of songs about Chicago, Broadway and London," said Freddie, "but nobody had mentioned Liverpool until then."

Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice presents Gerry And The Pacemakers. Cast your vote at the Voice Your Choice page for either I'm The One or I Like It. I'll play the winner on next week's show.