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Singer Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers dead at 78


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Gerry Marsden, who was the lead singer and namesake of the 1950s and 1960s British band Gerry and the Pacemakers, has died at the age of 78. His friend, radio host Pete Price announced the death Sunday on Twitter, declaring that Marsden had suffered "a short illness which was an infection in his heart."

Marsden's family said the illness was not connected to Covid-19.

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Marsden and his bandmates (Les "Chad" Chadwick, older brother Freddie Marsden and Les Maguire) had much in common with another British Invasion group -- The Beatles. Both bands were from Liverpool. They were influenced by 1950s rock 'n' roll music from America and the skiffle craze in the United Kingdom. And both were managed by Brian Epstein and worked with producer George Martin.

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Gerry and the Pacemakers' first of three No. 1 hits in the UK was "How Do You Do It?" The song, written by the British songwriter Mitch Murray, was intended as a first release for The Beatles. But the Fab Four recorded "Love Me Do" instead and Martin gave the song to Marsden's group.

The second No. 1 hit for Gerry and the Pacemakers was "I Like It," which also was written by Murray. The band performed the song on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in America on May 10, 1964.

Also performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" was a song written by Marsden and his three bandmates: "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying."

The third No. 1 hit in the UK for Gerry and the Pacemakers was a cover of the Rodgers and Hammerstein song "You'll Never Walk Alone" from the musical "Carousel." As Marsden told The Associated Press in 2018, he decided to record the song after seeing the movie version of the musical. "I thought what a beautiful song. I’m going to tell my band we’re going to play that song," he said. "So I went back and told my buddies we’re doing a ballad called ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’”

Decades later, Marsden was proud of the fact that his version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" became an anthem for his favorite soccer team, Liverpool FC. 

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In 1965, the band headlined the musical film "Ferry Cross the Mersey." The title song -- which referred to the Mersey River in Liverpool -- was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. The Liverpool music scene also became known as "Merseybeat."

In 2003, Marsden was named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his services to charity. He received a medal at Buckingham Palace.

Gerry Marsden death: Gerry and the Pacemakers star passes away aged 78 |  The Independent

 

 

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Gerry was a mate from our early days in Liverpool. He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene. His unforgettable performances of You’ll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Cross the Mersey remain in many people’s hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music...
 
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5 minutes ago, hamradio said:

Would had been ironic if his death was caused by a malfunctioning pacemaker.

 It's obvious that you're not a fan.

So at least you should have some respect and go elsewhere with your puerile humor.

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31 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

 It's obvious that you're not a fan.

So at least you should have some respect and go elsewhere with your puerile humor.

It's his co-singers whom call themselves Pacemakers.

(maybe because they never skip a beat? ;)

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Sorry to hear of this, I wish I could have seen him perform live. I was a big fan of the British Invasion music of the 1960s.

One of my favorite songs they did was "I'll Be There" a top twenty hit and was written by Bobby Darin.

 

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16 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

 It's obvious that you're not a fan.

So at least you should have some respect and go elsewhere with your puerile humor.

I agree.  I was never a fan either(I though the band was sort of milquetoast in comparison to other "British Invasion" bands) but that's not the point here.   But what Ham's really guilty of here is a form of Americanism that reacts such ways to celebrity tragedy.  For example:

"What kind of wood don't float?  NATALIE WOOD!"   "ROCK HUDSON had his car insurance cancelled due to his being REAR ENDED too many times!"

There's more, but I think I've gone far enough.

And Gerry's death is another sad reminder of how every generation sees too often the loss of things that made their generation enjoyable. 

Sepiatone

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29 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I agree.  I was never a fan either(I though the band was sort of milquetoast in comparison to other "British Invasion" bands) but that's not the point here.   But what Ham's really guilty of here is a form of Americanism that reacts such ways to celebrity tragedy.  For example:

"What kind of wood don't float?  NATALIE WOOD!"   "ROCK HUDSON had his car insurance cancelled due to his being REAR ENDED too many times!"

There's more, but I think I've gone far enough.

And Gerry's death is another sad reminder of how every generation sees too often the loss of things that made their generation enjoyable. 

Sepiatone

No it's ONLY about Pacemakers.  Geeze, nobody saw that coming?? :wacko:

shutterstock_261241133.jpg?rev=c6b36664e

 

Certain some British comedy sitcom has satired the group in the past.

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35 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I agree.  I was never a fan either(I though the band was sort of milquetoast in comparison to other "British Invasion" bands) but that's not the point here.   But what Ham's really guilty of here is a form of Americanism that reacts such ways to celebrity tragedy.  For example:

"What kind of wood don't float?  NATALIE WOOD!  "ROCK HUDSON had his car insurance cancelled due to his being REAR ENDED too many times!"

There's more, but I think I've gone far enough.

And Gerry's death is another sad reminder of how every generation sees too often the loss of things that made their generation enjoyable. 

Sepiatone

:lol:

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PI warning. I remember that in the early 1970s Rolling Stone had a most notable events of the year article.

Below the title Fairies Cross the Mersey was a pic of David Bowie.

 

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On 1/4/2021 at 8:44 AM, Det Jim McLeod said:

Sorry to hear of this, I wish I could have seen him perform live. I was a big fan of the British Invasion music of the 1960s.

One of my favorite songs they did was "I'll Be There" a top twenty hit and was written by Bobby Darin.

 

Oh, I remember that song too, now that you mention it.

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6 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

But of course that had not much to do with Marsden and his band, as the song was "FERRY Cross The Mersey".   :rolleyes:

Sepiatone

It was a (rather obvious) pun on the song title. It's like complaining that David Bowie was not

born in Liverpool. :)

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18 hours ago, Vautrin said:

It was a (rather obvious) pun on the song title. It's like complaining that David Bowie was not

born in Liverpool. :)

And he wasn't a total "fairy" either( he was bi-sexual in fact). Hence, it wasn't really all that good of a pun.  And if Bowie ever DID claim he was born in Liverpool I never heard of it, and if he didn't it makes the whole "pun" thing about him pointless.   AND does no favor for the Liverpudlians, as it makes them look judgmental and  narcissistic.  

Sepiatone

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7 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

And he wasn't a total "fairy" either( he was bi-sexual in fact). Hence, it wasn't really all that good of a pun.  And if Bowie ever DID claim he was born in Liverpool I never heard of it, and if he didn't it makes the whole "pun" thing about him pointless.   AND does no favor for the Liverpudlians, as it makes them look judgmental and  narcissistic.  

Sepiatone

Personally I thought Bowie was mostly straight and used the androgyny thing as more of a publicity

strategy than anything else. So by the public he was likely seen as gay, hence the pun. Today I doubt

RS would use the word fairy as it did back in 1972 or '73. Since Bowie was born in London, he wouldn't

be anything cross the Mersey, but that is irrelevant to the joke too.

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17 hours ago, Vautrin said:

Personally I thought Bowie was mostly straight and used the androgyny thing as more of a publicity

strategy than anything else. So by the public he was likely seen as gay, hence the pun. Today I doubt

RS would use the word fairy as it did back in 1972 or '73. Since Bowie was born in London, he wouldn't

be anything cross the Mersey, but that is irrelevant to the joke too.

I remember some made a big deal out of what some wags called the "Mersey Beat"  as if it were a whole new genre or something.  But, as Billy Joel might say,  It was just still rock'n'roll to me.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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7 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

I remember some made a big deal out of what some wags called the "Mersey Beat"  as if it were a whole new genre or something.  But, as Billy Joel might say,  It was just still rock'n'roll to me.  ;) 

Sepiatone

I think it was mostly a good pr name for groups from Liverpool who played a similar style of music.

No doubt they borrowed a lot from earlier rock and rollers.

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9 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

I remember some made a big deal out of what some wags called the "Mersey Beat"  as if it were a whole new genre or something.  But, as Billy Joel might say,  It was just still rock'n'roll to me.  ;) 

Sepiatone

 

3 hours ago, Vautrin said:

I think it was mostly a good pr name for groups from Liverpool who played a similar style of music.

No doubt they borrowed a lot from earlier rock and rollers.

 They called it the Mersey Beat because Liverpool was on that River where the boats brought in the American rock and roll records.

 It doesn't really matter if you were in Liverpool or in Hawthorne California with Brian Wilson and his brothers, everybody had to learn rock and roll from the pioneers of rock.

 If you want to judge how good any of these groups were in the beginning, just look at their covers of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, or whoever was out there first. That's how I was going to see if they could really cut the mustard.

 1964 

The Beatles had a really good Roll Over Beethoven or I should say George Harrison did.

Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys did a quite credible Johnny B Good.

 Both the Stones and the Animals did Around and Around-- Eric could sing it better, but the Stones could play it better.LOL

 But The Beach Boys had them all topped because their first big-hit was actually a Chuck Berry song that they just rewrote the lyrics to and speeded up. Worse than that they took all the credit for it. Worse than that even the lyrics were in the same type of template. I'm sure you know the song I'm talking about.

The Beatles also studied seriously Buddy Holly and Carl Perkins.

 In the 80s I saw a Showtime special with George Harrison and Ringo Starr playing alongside of Carl Perkins. Eric Clapton was there too.

Carl said the little chairs I got on the stage reminded him of school because all these artists had been his students and he was the teacher.

" You say you will when you won't         Huh hu Honey Don't."

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