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Gerry & The Pacemakers -- 50th Anniversary Tour

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Gerry & The Pacemakers -- 50th Anniversary Tour

10 DECEMBER 2008 - It's been 10 years since Gerry & The Pacemakers last toured New Zealand - much to the delight of their adoring fans and this time will be even more special. Gerry is celebrating 50 years since he formed the group that rivaled THE BEATLES in their early career and they're inviting our own Mr Rock n' Roll, SHANE CORTESE to join the band.

50 years ago in 1959 Gerry Marsden formed the group with his brother, Fred, Les Chadwick and Arthur McMahon. They rivaled the Beatles early in their career, playing in the same areas of Hamburg, Germany and at the famed Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.

The band was the second to sign with Brian Epstein, who later signed them with Columbia Records (a sister label to The Beatles label Parlophone 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 and 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. Never before had the first three singles by a performer all reached the top spot (the feat would not be bettered until The Spice Girls did it in the 90's). In the halcyon days of 1963 Gerry & The Pacemakers enjoyed the status of being one of Britain's most popular bands and were on tour with The Beatles as well as topping bills in their own right. "You'll Never Walk Alone" had been a favourite of Gerry Marsden's since seeing Carousel growing up. 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.

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. The title song was revived in the 1980s as a charity single for a ferry disaster appeal, giving Gerry another British number one in association with other Liverpool stars, including Paul McCartney and Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Holly Johnson. Additionally You'll never walk alone hit the No. 1 spot in the 1980's when rerecorded by Gerry and a celebrity ensemble to raise money for the Bradford Football Club's stadium fire disaster.

Gerry still tours regularly in the UK where he headlines 60's tours at such prestigious venues as The Royal Albert Hall and London Palladium, the US where he is still a popular drawcard, Asia and Australia where he regularly tours. This tour represents his first back to New Zealand since 1998 and with it marking his 50th anniversary since founding The Pacemakers and a decade since his last visit the 66 year old is still feeling at the top of his game when he hits the stage and can't wait to perform for his kiwi fans again.

Hits include: Ferry cross the Mersey, I like it, You'll never walk alone, How do you do it, Don't let the sun catch you crying, I'll be there.

TOUR DATES AUCKLAND, SKY CITY THEATRE March 26th

HAMILTON, FOUNDERS THEATRE March 27th

NEW PLYMOUTH, TSB SHOWPLACE March 28th

PALMERSTON NORTH, REGENT ON BROADWAY March 29th

DUNEDIN, REGENT THEATRE March 31st

CHRISTCHURCH, JAMES HAY THEATRE April 2nd

ASHBURTON, ASHBURTON TRUST EVENTS CENTRE April 3rd

WELLINGTON, OPERA HOUSE April 5th.

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