Fred Marsden, the drummer in the Merseybeat band Gerry and the Pacemakers, has died at age 66. Marsden died of cancer Saturday in Southport, England, according to a family death announcement published Tuesday in the Liverpool Echo newspaper.
The band, fronted by Marsden’s brother, Gerry, was the second group signed by Brian Epstein, following the Beatles. But Gerry and the Pacemakers become the first from Liverpool to have a No. 1 single with “How Do You Do It?” in 1963, followed that year by another chart-topper, “I Like It.”
Later hits included “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “Ferry Cross the Mersey,” and “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying,” co-written by Fred.
The group disbanded in 1967. Gerry Marsden reformed the Pacemakers in 1973 but without Fred, who had given up the music business to be a telephone operator and later established the Pacemaker driving school.
Marsden is survived by his wife, Margaret, and two children. A funeral will be held tomorrow (Dec. 15) at Our Lady’s Church in Formby.
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