Gerry & the Pacemakers were a British rock and roll group during the 1960s. In common with The Beatles, they came from Liverpool and were managed by Brian Epstein. They are most remembered for being the first act to reach number one in the UK Singles Chart with their first three single releases. Gerry Marsden formed the group in 1959 with his brother, Fred, Les Chadwick and Arthur McMahon. They rivalled 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. They are known to have rehearsed at Cammell Laird shipping yard at Birkenhead.
The band was the second to sign with Brian Epstein, who later signed them with Columbia Records (a sister label to The Beatles labelParlophone under EMI). They began recording in early 1963 with "How Do You Do It?", a song written by Mitch Murray that Adam Faith had turned down and one that The Beatles chose not to release (they did record the song but chose to release their own song "Please Please Me"). The song was produced by George Martin and became a number one hit in the UK, until being replaced at the top by "From Me to You", The Beatles' third single.
Gerry & the Pacemakers' next two singles, Murray's "I Like It" and Rodgers and Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone", both also reached number one in the UK Singles Chart. "You'll Never Walk Alone" had been a favourite of Gerry Marsden. It soon became the signature tune of Liverpool Football Club. To this day, the song remains a football anthem, there and elsewhere, a phenomenon due to Gerry Marsden, rather than its Broadway composers.
Despite this early success, Gerry & the Pacemakers never had another number one single in the UK. Gerry Marsden began writing 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 U.S. Hit, "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying", which peaked at #4, and which Gerry Marsden initially gave to Decca recording artist Louise Cordet in 1963. She recorded the song (Decca F11824), but without commercial success. They also starred in an early 1965 film called Ferry Cross the Mersey (sometimes referred to as "Gerry & the Pacemakers' version of A Hard Day's Night"), for which Marsden wrote much of the soundtrack.
By late 1965, their popularity was rapidly declining on both sides of the Atlantic. They disbanded in October 1966, with much of their latter recorded material never released in the UK. [wikipedia]