‘Here’s Hoping’ everyone is well. Those opening two words came from a track on Gerry’s first U.K. LP ‘How Do You Like It?’ in 1963. In the early days ‘Here’s Hoping’ formed the punchy opening for Gerry’s stage performances. It is hard to believe it is fifty years since Gerry hit the top of the charts with his first three releases,
‘How Do You Do It?’, ‘I Like It’, and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. A unique achievement and one that lasted for thirty years. We’ll catch up with the 50th Anniversary a little later.
Well let’s see what’s been happening since the last newsletter.
The Justice Collectives Hillsborough Single ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’, made it to No 1 at Christmas, providing both funds for the legal costs of the families involved in the tragedy and also publicity to the world in the families fight for justice.
A bronze plaque was fixed to the Liverpool World Capitol of Pop Wall of Fame by Gerry on the 22nd February. This was to celebrate the 57th No 1 by Liverpool artistes. The wall was opened in 2001 by Lita Roza who was the first Liverpudlian artist to have a No 1 single with ‘How Much Is That Doggy In The Window’ in 1953. Liverpool boasts the most No 1’s of any city in the world – a fete recognised by the Guinness World Records. Gerry of course, has a few bronze plaques on this famous wall in Matthew Street.
At the Liverpool Music Awards held on April 19th the Justice Collectives single ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ won the Inspiration Award. Well done to all those involved in the project.
YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE
Record label EMI have produced a new video shot across Merseyside, to the Liverpool anthem, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Local actors, sports persons and musicians, as well as local people feature in the film.
Gerry said the film captured the passion of the people of Liverpool and was a fitting setting for his 1963 No1. Managing Director of the film company who made the video, Wayne Godfrey said, “The video pays homage to the iconic song, a legendary band and a great city. It really is a video for the people”.
The video can be seen on www.youtube.com.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND TOUR 2013
Gerry completed his sell out tour of Australia and New Zealand on April 7th. The Australian Tour was billed as his ‘Farewell Tour’ and the New Zealand Tour with fellow Merseybeaters ‘The Searchers’ as the last great 60’s tour.
With Australia being such a vast continent, it was early morning departures to catch planes, trains etc.
The New Zealand Tour commenced in Christchurch on March 27th. ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ was adopted by the people of Christchurch as an anthem to a moving
Commemorative collection of photographs taken in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. Some of the comments received after his Australian and New Zealand Tour were :- “Gerry was fantastic. He still has a great voice and his humour hasn’t changed over the years ……..” “Gerry Marsden closed the show once again singing all his hits plus more……. He still has an excellent voice and is also not a bad comedian”. “Gerry still has the same sound and strong voice….. the voice of Gerry was out of this world”.
Whilst in Australia and New Zealand, Gerry was interviewed several times by both the television and radio networks. Some of those can be viewed and listened on www.youtube and other areas of the internet by using Google. As you know Gerry is always very amusing when interviewed.
GERRY CROSS THE MERSEY
Gerry and The Pacemakers have been and are still touring the U.K. with their Gerry Cross The Mersey Show. I managed to catch the show when it came to Ilkley, West Yorkshire recently. It was great to see everybody again as it had been a while since I had seen them. As mentioned in previous newsletters, the show is always different everytime you see it. Gerry was on top form and soon had the audience clapping and dancing in the aisles. The Pacemakers, (Tony Young, Steve Thompson, Joe Mitchell and Nick Woolgar) are always brilliant. Colin and Paul, Gerry’s sound and road crew also do a great job as does Ian Ashton, Gerry’s PA. who keeps his eye on everything. A great team and a great show.
It was good to hear Gerry sing ‘Girl On A Swing’ which was his last U.K. release with The Pacemakers on the Columbia Label in August 1966.
60’s GOLD 2013 50TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
This tour which commences on September 25th in Cardiff sees Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Searchers, The Fortunes, P.J. Proby, Brian Poole and Chip Hawkes. These acts between them had 50 top forty hits (co-incidental for the 50th Anniversary) including 7 No 1’s.
It is fifty years since Gerry and The Pacemakers hit the top of the charts with their first three releases, but it must be remembered that they were first formed in 1959. Before that Gerry had fronted several skiffle groups. The years before they broke through, served as their apprenticeship with regular work around Merseyside and the North West including the world famous Cavern Club and trips to Hamburg, Germany where they played from dusk til dawn in a gruelling stint. This is where they learnt their stage craft.
As you will see on the tour dates page, the show visits most parts of the U.K. All the venue web sites are listed with the dates and tickets are on sale now.
Gerry and The Pacemakers are flying to Canada to perform seven shows from May 24th – June 2nd.
Corinne Gibbs of Hampshire sent me an article about her local theatre The Southampton Mayflower (formerly The Gaumont). It tells of the 50’s and 60’s when all the big names in pop played there. It mentions Gerry and The Pacemakers topping the bill in October 1963, including Cilla Black, Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, The Bachelors and Del Shannon. 50 years on and the package tour is still as popular.
As mentioned last time BBC four repeats documentaries quite often and Gerry is often seen on programmes such as The Brian Epstein Story, Roy Orbison, Love Me Do etc.
GOLDEN YEAR 2013
A few more milestones to conclude:-
1985. Gerry records ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with a host of stars known as ‘The Crowd’ to raise money after the horrific fire at Bradford City Football ground. It reaches No 1.
Gerry is the subject of ‘This Is Your Life’ and is presented with the red book by the late Eamonn Andrews.
1989. Gerry along with Holly Johnson, Paul McCartney and The Christians record Ferry Cross The Mersey after the Hillsborough disaster.
Gerry leads the singing at F.A. Cup final between Liverpool and Everton.
1990. Gerry and The Pacemakers are in summer season with Little and Large at The Grand Theatre Blackpool entitled Rock With Laughter.
1993. Gerry’s Autobiography entitled ‘I’ll Never Walk Alone’ is published.
1994. Gerry tops the bill with ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ at Anfield as the famous Kop is changed from standing to all seater.
1996. Gerry stars in his own musical about his life and career, ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey’. It tours the U.K. and ends its run at the Lyric Theatre in London’s West End.
1998. The very last show of Sooty with Matthew Corbett had Gerry as special guest.
1999. Gerry appears in his own show ‘An Audience With Gerry Marsden’ at the Everyman Theatre Liverpool as part of the city’s Beatle Fest.
2001. Gerry headlines a tour entitled ‘Reelin and a Rockin’ which is supported by other 60’s artists.
2003. Gerry is awarded the M.B.E, for charitable services by H.R.H. Prince of Wales.
2004. Gerry Cross The Mersey Tours and another successful American Tour.
2006. Gerry tops the bill at the world famous Matthew Street festival in Liverpool.
2007. Gerry is at the Cavern Club in Liverpool as it celebrates fifty years since its opening in 1957. Gerry has a cameo appearance on BBC 3’s TV production ‘Liverpool Nativity’ in which he is the Captain of the ferry.
2008. Gerry is busy with charity concerts and meets the Queen as part of Liverpool’s 08 celebrations.
2009. Gerry received The Freedom Of The City for his services to Liverpool.
2010. Gerry accepts his Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool’s John Moores University for his outstanding contribution to the Performing Arts.
2011. Amongst other overseas shows, Gerry plays gigs in Phillipines.
As Gerry and The Pacemakers head out this Autumn on their 50th Anniversary Tour, the story continues.
I would like to thank Gerry, Ian Ashton, The Pacemakers and Corinne Gibbs for help with this newsletter. If you have any interesting articles that we can share, please send them into the website.
Until Next Time,