Skip to main content

VIntage Video #1's: Gerry and the Pacemakers Got to the Top in Britain With a Rodgers & Hammerstein Classic

by VVN Music

54 years ago today, on October 31, 1963, Gerry Marsden and his group the Pacemakers had their third straight number 1 record in the U.K. with a cover of the Rodgers & Hammerstein song "You'll Never Walk Alone".

Originally called Gerry Marsden and the Mars Bars, they changed to Gerry and the Pacemakers after the candy company objected to the band's name. The group became the second to sign with Brian Epstein after the Beatles and he was able to have them sign with Columbia Records.

They recorded their first hit, "How Do You Do It?" on January 22, 1963 with George Martin at the helm.  Released on March 14, the song was number 1 less than a month later where it stayed for three weeks.

The group's second single, "I Like It" was recorded on April 24 of the same year and released in May, hitting number 1 on May 19, a position it held for four weeks.  Only one song separated the two chart toppers, The Beatles "From Me to You".

Them came their third single which was a total change of pace. George Martin once again produced, as he had the first two hits, and he chose an enduring classic from the Rodgers & Hammerstein 1946 musical, Carousel. Released in October, it hit number 1 before the month was over and stayed their for four weeks.

The song also was adopted by the Liverpool Football Club as an anthem with the crowd singing along to the Gerry and the Pacemakers version before the start of each home game.

The top five singles in Britain on October 31, 1963:
  1. You'll Never Walk Along - Gerry & the Pacemakers
  2. She Loves You - Beatles
  3. Do You Love Me? - Brian Poole and the Tremeloes
  4. Blue Bayou / Mean Woman Blues - Roy Orbison
  5. Then He Kissed Me - Crystals