As veteran pop star Gerry Marsden dies at 78, a look back at his extraordinary life 

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Tributes poured in for the singer, who also had hits with Ferry Cross The Mersey and I Like It

Tributes poured in for the singer, who additionally had hits with Ferry Cross The Mersey and I Like It

He was one of many pioneers of the Merseybeat sound, buddies with The Beatles and turned You’ll By no means Stroll Alone into each a singalong for soccer followers and an anthem of hope.

Gerry Marsden, the frontman of record-breaking Sixties chart-toppers Gerry and the Pacemakers, has died aged 78 after a brief sickness, it was introduced final evening.

Tributes poured in for the singer, who additionally had hits with Ferry Cross The Mersey and I Like It.

Sir Paul McCartney mentioned: ‘Gerry was a mate from our early days in Liverpool. He and his group have been our greatest rivals on the native scene.

‘His unforgettable performances of You’ll By no means Stroll Alone and Ferry Cross the Mersey stay in many individuals’s hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music. My sympathies go to his spouse Pauline and household. See ya, Gerry. I’ll at all times keep in mind you with a smile.’

Marsden’s radio presenter buddy Pete Worth wrote on-line: ‘It’s with a really heavy coronary heart after talking to the household that I’ve to inform you the legendary Gerry Marsden MBE after a brief sickness which was an an infection in his coronary heart has sadly handed away.’

Marsden married his spouse Pauline – a former girlfriend of George Harrison – in 1965. They’d two daughters, Yvette and Victoria.

Worth added: ‘Sending all of the love on the earth to Pauline and his household. You’ll By no means Stroll Alone.’

Gerry Marsden is pictured above with The Beatles in 1962.  Marsden once recalled: ‘I met Paul McCartney and John Lennon originally at the local record shop. ‘As teenagers we had our own skiffle bands and played the same clubs. We grew up together and were good mates'

Gerry Marsden is pictured above with The Beatles in 1962.  Marsden as soon as recalled: ‘I met Paul McCartney and John Lennon initially on the native file store. ‘As youngsters we had our personal skiffle bands and performed the identical golf equipment. We grew up collectively and have been good mates’

The Pacemakers have been the second band after The Beatles to be signed by supervisor Brian Epstein and their first hit How Do You Do It? was initially meant to be launched by the Fab 4.

It scored the Pacemakers their first chart-topper in March 1963 – and was the primary No 1 by an Epstein-managed Liverpool band.

I Like It and You’ll By no means Stroll Alone additionally hit No 1 that very same 12 months, securing them a spot in pop historical past as the primary band to high the charts with every of their first three singles.

Marsden married his wife Pauline – a former girlfriend of George Harrison – in 1965. They had two daughters, Yvette and Victoria

Marsden married his spouse Pauline – a former girlfriend of George Harrison – in 1965. They’d two daughters, Yvette and Victoria

Ferry Cross The Mersey solely reached No 8 in 1964, however a 12 months later Marsden and his band appeared in a musical comedy movie with the identical identify – which starred his buddy Cilla Black and is seen as their model of The Beatles’ A Exhausting Day’s Evening. 

Final evening songwriter Mitch Murray, who wrote How Do You Do It?, advised the Mail: ‘Gerry Marsden’s fabulous voice and approach, in addition to his expertise as an entertainer, was a present to the British music business. He’ll at all times be one of many rock greats.

‘He’ll at all times have a spot in my coronary heart – he was given my track which was all set to be The Beatles’ first single. They have been delighted my track was not their first single, it cleared the best way for their very own nice songs.

‘Nevertheless, Gerry’s fabulous model went to No 1. So we began out along with two large hits, and people hits gave us each lengthy and fruitful careers.’

The son of a railway clerk, Marsden was born in Toxteth, Liverpool, in 1942. His older brother Freddie, who was the drummer within the Pacemakers, died aged 66 in 2006.

With Gerry on vocals and guitar, the group fashioned in 1959 and alternated on the Cavern Membership’s lunchtime periods with The Beatles.

Marsden as soon as recalled: ‘I met Paul McCartney and John Lennon initially on the native file store.

‘As youngsters we had our personal skiffle bands and performed the identical golf equipment. We grew up collectively and have been good mates. John was my greatest pal – he was at all times a bit psychological like me.’

Final evening the Cavern Membership posted on its Twitter account: ‘The phrase legend is usually overused however Gerry was not solely a legend, but in addition an excellent buddy of The Cavern.’

After You’ll By no means Stroll Alone – initially a present tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel – turned successful, followers of Liverpool FC adopted it to belt out in unison at Anfield. Final 12 months it turned an anthem sung in assist for medical workers throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Ferry Cross The Mersey only reached No 8 in 1964, but a year later Marsden and his band appeared in a musical comedy film with the same name – which starred his friend Cilla Black and is seen as their version of The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. The pair are pictured together above

Ferry Cross The Mersey solely reached No 8 in 1964, however a 12 months later Marsden and his band appeared in a musical comedy movie with the identical identify – which starred his buddy Cilla Black and is seen as their model of The Beatles’ A Exhausting Day’s Evening. The pair are pictured collectively above

His household confirmed that his demise was ‘under no circumstances linked with Covid-19’, including in a press release: ‘His spouse, daughters and grandchildren are devastated.’

Marsden had a historical past of cardiac points, present process a triple bypass in 2003 and later needed to have a pacemaker fitted.

His group first disbanded in 1967 earlier than he reformed it with a unique line-up within the early Seventies.

Marsden continued touring with numerous line-ups of the band till his coronary heart surgical procedure, and later carried out on the oldies circuit earlier than saying his retirement for good in 2018.

Ferry Cross The Mersey was remade in 1989 as a charity single after the Hillsborough soccer crowd catastrophe. That includes Marsden with different Liverpudlian music stars akin to Sir Paul McCartney and Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Holly Johnson, it reached No 1 this time and raised hundreds of thousands of kilos. Marsden was made an MBE in 2003 for providers to charity.

Liverpool FC tweeted: ‘It’s with such nice unhappiness that we hear of Gerry Marsden’s passing. Gerry’s phrases will reside on for ever with us. You’ll By no means Stroll Alone.’

Sir Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool’s boss on the time of Hillsborough, tweeted: ‘You’ll By no means Stroll Alone is an integral a part of Liverpool FC, and by no means extra so than now.’



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