Singer known for You’ll Never Walk Alone reaches and after brief illness, Ferry Cross The Mersey dies
After a brief illness, Gerry Marsden, the lead singer of Gerry and the Pacemakers, known for hits such as You’ll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Cross The Mersey, died aged 78. He rose to fame as the leader of the Merseybeat band in the 1960s, at a period when the core of the musical universe was Liverpool. On Sunday, his pal, DJ Pete Price, confirmed the news, tweeting, “It is with a very heavy heart that I have to tell you, having spoken to the family, that the legendary Gerry Marsden MBE has sadly passed away after a brief illness, which was a heart infection.”
“I send Pauline and his family all the love in the world. You’ll Never Walk Alone “In 1963, with their first three hits, How Do You Do It?, the Pacemakers hit the top of the British charts. A Rodgers and Hammerstein composition from the musical Carousel, I Like It and You’ll Never Walk Alone, and became the Liverpool FC anthem, sung at every match from the stands. “The club tweeted, “We are so sorry to hear about Gerry Marsden’s passing. The words of Gerry will remain with us forever. You’ll Never Walk Alone” The group played regularly with The Beatles, as both groups were part of the Liverpool management of Brian Epstein. The Cavern Club, where both bands played regularly, tweeted, “We’re saddened to learn today about Gerry Marsden’s death. The word legend is often overused, but not only was Gerry a legend, but he was a great friend of The Cavern as well. Pic.twitter.com/74HQZP4gio- January 3, 2021 The Cavern Club (@cavernliverpool)
Marsden was born in Liverpool’s Dingle area and was just 14 years old when he formed his first band, the Red Mountain Boys skiffle party, which included his older brother Freddie on drums.
Mars instead asked that their name be changed, and the party became the Pacemakers in 1959. They performed for the first time with the Beatles in 1960 – then named the Silver Beetles – and they signed up for a four-month guest appearance in Hamburg in December of that year, leading the group to leave their daily jobs and become professional musicians. We went over with the Beatles and had a lot of fun,” Marsden later recalled. In 1962, the group’s first hit, “How Do You Do It? “was recorded by the Beatles, but rejected and passed on to Marsden and Co. by George Martin, their producer.
In April 1962, the song became their first number one and sold half a million copies. A number of other clubs around the world, including Celtic and Borussia Dortmund, have adopted You’ll Never Walk Alone as their theme song, in addition to Liverpool FC.
With a cover version released with Michael Ball and an NHS choir to raise funds for healthcare charities, Captain Tom Moore topped the charts.