Gerry's interest in music began at an early age. One of his earliest memories is standing on top of an air raid shelter singing "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" and getting applause. He remembers thinking to himself,"This is what I want to do."
Gerry Marsden formed the group in 1959 with his brother, Fred, Les Chadwick and Arthur McMahon. They rivaled the Beatles early in their career, playing in the same areas of Hamburg, Germany and Liverpool, England. McMahon (known as Arthur Mack) was replaced on piano by Les Maguire around 1961.
|Pacemakers with The Beatles and Roy Orbison|
Gerry & The Pacemakers were the second group signed by Brian Epstein and remained among his favorite groups. Their first number one hit single was "How Do You Do It," recommended by George Martin after it was initially given to The Beatles. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios. Marsden said the recording took four or five takes.
The band's second number one was "I Like It," followed by "You'll Never Walk Alone." Other singles included "It's Gonna Be Alright" "I'm the One," "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying," and "Ferry Cross the Mersey." Marsden wrote most of their own songs, including "It's Gonna Be All Right," "I'm the One," and "Ferry Cross the Mersey," as well as their first and biggest US hit, "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying," which peaked at #4,
They are most remembered for being the first act to reach number one in the UK Singles Chart with their first three single releases. It was a record that was not equalled for 20 years, until the mid-80s success of fellow Liverpool band Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Gerry & the Pacemakers are the second most successful group from Liverpool to hit the US pop charts, behind only the Beatles.
By late 1965, their popularity was rapidly declining and they disbanded in October 1966. After leaving the Pacemakers Gerry had a career on television, and starred in the West End musical "Charlie Girl" alongside Derek Nimmo and Anna Neagle.
He is most remembered for the song "I Like It" and his rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone," which has been adopted as an anthem of several football clubs, the most notable being Liverpool, the club that Marsden supports.
The Pacemakers - with different musicians - still tour today and are a popular oldies draw on the circuit.
In 1993, Marsden published his autobiography, I'll Never Walk Alone, co-written with former Melody Maker editor Ray Coleman.