Liverpool legend Gerry Marsden will never be forgotten, as his life and career is celebrated in a brand new tribute album, My Home Town, writes Nick Benson.
The voice of Liverpool Football Club’s beloved anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone, and one of Merseyside’s favourite sons, Gerry Marsden will never be forgotten.
Marsden, who shot to fame as the leader of the Merseybeat band Gerry and the Pacemakers in the early ‘60s, died earlier this year, on 3rd January, at the age of 78.
Now, just months after Marsden’s passing, legendary songwriter David Martin has paid the perfect tribute to the musician in the form of a brand new collection of his hits, titled My Home Town. The record contains a heart-felt message from Martin to his friend in the album’s sleeve notes.
Martin, together with fellow writers Chris Arnold and Geoff Morrow, helped pen hits for Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Cilla Black and Marsden, amongst many others.
They wrote the new collection’s title track, My Home Town, for Marsden years ago, as well as five other tracks that feature on the 10-track tribute album – Here I Go Again; Remember The Days Of Rock ‘n’ Roll; Can’t You Hear The Song?; They Don’t Make Days Like That Anymore; and There’s Still Time.
The collection also features Red White And Blue, which was written by Martin alone.
The remaining three tracks are made up of Lovely Lady and Girl What You Doin’, which were written by Marsden himself and have never before been available as an album collection in this combination. They represent a significant tribute to the artistry of Marsden and his distinctive voice and character.
The album’s 10th and final song, which is included as a bonus track, is the iconic Liverpool F.C. anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone.
While many of the tracks are original first recordings of the songs by Marsden, Here I Go Again is a cover of the hit by Edward Bear in Canada and Can’t You Hear The Song? is a cover of the US Top Twenty hit by Wayne Newton.
Meanwhile, You’ll Never Walk Alone was originally a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. However, following Gerry and the Pacemakers’ popular 1963 cover, the song gained popularity on the Anfield terraces, and the song quickly became the anthem of Liverpool F.C.
Gerry and the Pacemakers formed in 1959 and were the first act after the Beatles to be signed by British music entrepreneur and Beatles manager Brian Epstein.
Like the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers enjoyed huge success in the UK and the US. Their first three singles, the evergreen How Do You Do It, I Like It and the career-defining You’ll Never Walk Alone all hit the Number One slot in the UK, which is a feat that has never been repeated.
Marsden will eternally be associated with Liverpool. He was awarded the Freedom of the City in 2009 and the back cover of the new album includes the poignant tribute made by Liverpool F.C. legend Sir Kenny Dalglish on Marsden’s passing: “I don’t think it should ever be underestimated how important Gerry has been to millions of Liverpool fans.”
In his sleeve note tribute to Marsden, Martin recalls the musician’s “cheery smile which exuded such happiness” and remembers him as “a devoted family man, who loved life and never stopped appreciating the love he received from his fans”.
Sharing his final words on the Liverpool legend, Martin says: “Gerry achieved three consecutive Number One singles, which has never been achieved by any artist since. One of those hits was the Rogers and Hammerstein song You’ll Never Walk Alone, a song which has continued through the years to this day, being sung by the faithful Liverpool Kop.
“If ever there was a man who never walked alone, that man was Gerry Marsden.
“He is dearly missed and will never be forgotten.”
My Home Town by Gerry Marsden is out on 25th June on Angel Air Records.
Picture: The album cover of My Home Town by Gerry Marsden.