Art and Culture

Gerry Marsden and the story behind You’ll never walk Cologne

Although I took my Liverpool working-class roots for granted few other people did so. Wherever in the world we ‘Scousers’ went we were feted as celebrities for good reason. The Beatles in the 1960s were taking the world by storm. There were many other Liverpool legends like Billy Fury and Charlie Landsborough (Birkenhead) and, of course, Gerry Marsden of the Pacemakers.

More people listened to Jack Jackson’s weekly radio programme than tuned in to the Queen’s Christmas broadcast. Most weeks Liverpool performers filled more than half of Jack Jackson’s Top Twenty entries. Billy Fury and The Beatles were constantly knocking Elvis Presley and off his throne. Then there was Lita Roza, Frankie Vaughan, Arthur Askey, The Merseybeats ~ and The Earthlings.

The latter group was our family’s in which my brother Paul was the rhythm guitarist. As they appeared often at The Cavern their group’s name is inscribed on The Wall of Fame opposite The Cavern entrance.

At the same time, Liverpool Football Club was and still is unbeatable. It seemed everyone wanted to be from Liverpool, to experience The Cavern Club cellars on Mathew Street, The Iron Door, The Harlequin, The Bird Cage and similar. We lived it, we breathed it and we sang it.

Ken Dodd’s Letter to Michael Walsh

Anita Cochrane was never out of our home. My sister’s best friend, Anita was dating Paul McCartney and was to later bear Paul’s child. Whenever Noreen and Anita were off the radar one was sure to find them in Mathew Street or having fun with the artistes appearing at The Cavern at The Grapes pub opposite.

Cy Tucker (dubbed ‘Sly Fucker’), my friend of many years performed with Gerry and the Pacemakers

I was a friend of the Liverpool legends like Cy Tucker, Ricky Tomlinson, Karl Terry, Owen Clayton, Gary Potter, the jazz-legend, Charlie Landsborough, who loved my poetry as did Ken Dodd, Britain’s most celebrated comedian and chart-topping singer. So it was with a special and very personal regret that today I learn of the passing of Gerry Marsden (and the Pacemakers).

Ricky Tomlinson was a friend, associate and a political turncoat ~ but he still got his round in for me
Jukebox Eddie at the Atlantic Dock Road and Owen Clayton on the Double Bass

Gerry Marsden’s two greatest hits were Ferry across the Mersey and You’ll Never Walk Alone. The latter ballad became the unofficial anthem of Liverpool Football club. There is a story behind that song title too. You’ll Never Walk Alone was already a chart-buster when Liverpool FC was drawn to play Cologne Football Club; a team that was said to be unbeatable. Unsurprisingly, football fans like Everton FC who disliked or were jealous of the Liverpool team’s unrivalled omnipotence chortled, ‘You’ll Never Walk Cologne’ which is Liverpool slang for ‘you’ll never defeat Cologne’.

Well, Liverpool FC trounced the German team and for this reason, You’ll Never Walk Alone (Cologne) became the battle song of The Kop, the Liverpool’s teams stadium stands. R.I.P. Gerry Marsden, September 24, 1942 ~ January 3, 2021. ~ Michael Walsh

Liverpool Gerry Marsden, September 24, 1942 ~ January 3, 2021.

Related books: The Leaving of Liverpool, UNTOLD SAGAS OF THE SEA Volume I (The USAThe UK), UNTOLD SAGAS OF THE SEA Vol II (The USAThe UK), UNTOLD SAGAS OF THE SEA VOL. III ( The USA and The UK) and All I Ask is a Tall Ship by Liverpool writer Michael Walsh

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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WHEELEUROPE ARISE TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROESMEGACAUST,  DEATH OF A CITYWITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTERTHE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and IIFOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKIMMORTAL BELOVEDTHE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG,  THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH ,    SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS  SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH:  JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS ,   PORCELAIN OF THE THIRD REICHSupreme Ceramics and Porcelain Lost to War, The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS , SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S  and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

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The revenge of a predator is a city-vigilante epic better than Death Wish A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL , 55 lavishly illustrated first-hand stories by a Liverpool sailor THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL, Latest Killer-Thriller From Michael Walsh the City Vigilante Supremo The Stigma Enigma , A powerful thought-provoking paranormal romance The Soul Meets, How to form a naughty ménage a trois THE DOVETAILS and SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S.

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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL, AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS,  THE LAST GLADIATORS, A Leopard in Liverpool, RISE OF THE SUN WHEELEUROPE ARISE, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, THE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II, and many other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

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1 reply »

  1. Gerry and The Pacemakers!! Wow, Mike, you have taken me back to 1963 and 64. We called it the British Invasion when the Beatles took the world by storm and the other bands followed suit. Some people today believe the whole movement was a ‘Psyop,’ created by the Tavistock Institute, but, I’m not sure of that. I tend to believe that it started out innocently enough before the Intelligence Services got involved and as usual helped destroy a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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