Friday, June 14, 2013

Gerry and the Pacemakers--How Do You Do It? (1964)

     George Martin felt he had a hit on his hand, but no one seemed to want it. It was offered to pop singer Adam Faith and he turned it down. The young producer felt sure the new group from Liverpool, The Beatles, could have a hit with it, but they didn't like the song either. (Martin told Lennon/McCartney they could shelve it if they could write something better...they came up with 'Please Please Me') Manager Brian Epstein however had another group he had just signed who would be interested in recording the Mitch Murray song.
      Gerry and the Pacemakers had to this point, the same kind of trajectory The Beatles had in Liverpool. Gerry Marsden formed the group along with his brother Fred, Les Chadwick, and Authur McMahon (who was replaced by Les Maguire in 1961) and at first was known as, 'Gerry and the Mars Bars' until the Mars company complained and the name was changed to 'Pacemakers'.
     The group was the second to take Epstein as their manager, and he soon got them a contract with Columbia records. They took, "How Do You Do It?" and made it their first number in in the UK in March of 1963 and was knocked out of the spot later by the Beatles' first UK chart topper, "From Me To You". In fact, the Pacemakers hit the top their next two singles which firmly secured them as the fab four's top competition. They had three more top 10 singles in their homeland, but would never have another number one.
     In the states, they had released all of their hits as well, but it wasn't until The Beatles knocked down the walls in early 64 that any success was made there. The Pacemakers' first hit in the US was, "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" in May of 64 and "How Do You Do It" was released in July of that year, reaching number 9. They were to reach the top 40 four more time, including another top 10, "Ferry Cross the Mersey" in 1965. But not too long after that, they began to fade, and by the end of the year they had disbanded. The group (minus Fred who passed in 2006) has continued to tour.



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