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Monday, January 28, 2008

Gerry & The Pacemakers - Ferry Cross The Mersey

Life goes on day after day
Hearts torn in every way

So ferry 'cross the Mersey
'cause this land's the place I love
and here I'll stay.
Released in late 1964 in the UK and in 1965 in the US. Ferry... was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching #6 in the US and charting twice in the UK.

Gerry Marsden formed the group in 1959 with his brother, Fred. For a time, G & the Ps held their own against the Fab Four, whose career they somewhat eerily paralleled.

Both groups played on the same circuit of clubs in Hamburg and Liverpool. The band was the second to sign with Brian Epstein, after guess who? Their first release, How Do You Do It? had been recorded first by those mop-tops, who shelved it in favor of Please Please Me. Produced by George Martin, the song became a number one hit in the UK, until being replaced at the top by From Me to You, the Beatles' third single.

Marsden wrote most of the group's following songs, including Ferry Cross the Mersey, as well as their biggest U.S. hit, Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying. But their first single would be Gerry & The Pacemakers only number one single in the UK.

The band starred in a moderately successful 1965 film also called Ferry Cross the Mersey, sometimes uncharitably referred to as "Gerry & The Pacemakers' version of A Hard Day's Night."

By late 1965, the group's popularity was declining on both sides of the Atlantic, as the Beatles and other members of the British Invasion kept on pushing the musical envelope into a realm that Gerry & the Pacemakers couldn't follow. They disbanded in 1966.

The so-called "Mersey Beat" sound was born in Liverpool, and was used interchangeably in the media with "the Liverpool sound," thanks to the Beatles. According to publicist and author Bill Harry, he coined the original term for his newspaper, also called Mersey Beat, dedicated to the local bands of the Merseyside area.

More info on the Mersey Beat and Mersey Beat can be found at Bill's exhaustive web site. Click on the banner below...

Mersey Beat - It's still happening, man.  click here

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