GLOBE writer Peter Grant reports on a new tribute album celebrating one of Merseyside's favourite sons - Gerry Marsden

GERRY Marsden will never be forgotten, says singer-songwriter David Martin.

David and fellow writers Geoff Morrow and Chris Arnold were the multi-talented team who penned hits for Barry Manilow, Elvis Presley, Cilla Black and Cliff Richard and many more.

David is also proud of his writing contribution to Gerry's career.

He has backed up his heart-felt appraisal of Gerry's talents with a brand new tribute album recorded by the Merseybeat icon and David has compiled the sleevenotes.

Gerry, who died in January, had retired in 2018 from live performing following ill health but he did make a rare guest appearance with Take That at Anfield which brought the house down.

The love and affection for him in his home town was emotional.

David wrote the global hit Can't smile without you for Mr Manilow. A picture of Barry and Dave has pride of place on his website. He regards Gerry as one of the music world's greats.

He told the Globe: ''Gerry was such fun to be with. I believe that with Gerry it was always a case of what you see is what you get. That is what I miss most about him.

''Gerry was a real gentleman and a sweet man but a tough character, too, who came from the Dingle area of Liverpool and went on to be amazingly successful in everything he did.

''I have special memories of him on holiday twenty years ago with his supportive wife Pauline in Spain where he would try and beat me at tennis. I can see still him running up to the net with that twinkle in his eye.''

Now David is celebrating Gerry's musical career with a project that was clearly a labour of love from the outset and very much one close to his own heart.

The title track My home town was written for Gerry.

The album features a smiling Gerry on the cover and in front of the famous skyline that truly was his 'home.'

Gerry found fame fronting The Pacemakers, who were the first act after The Beatles to be signed by Brian Epstein.

Like the Fab Four they enjoyed huge success both here and in the States.

Their first three singles, How do you do itI like it and the career-defining You'll never walk alone all hit the number one slot.

David and fellow writers have written five other tracks on the album with one more being penned by David alone.

He says Gerry would perform My home town on stage and when he died radio stations played the song in his memory.

For many it is the natural sequel to that other biographical song Ferry 'cross the Mersey.

Other tracks were written by Gerry himself: Lovely Lady and Girl What You Doin? 

And there is a bonus track everyone will love; a re-recorded You'll never walk alone.

David adds: '"These tracks have never before been available as an album collection in this combination, and they represent a significant tribute to the artistry of Gerry and his distinctive voice.''

Whilst many of the tracks are original first recordings of the songs by Gerry, 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.

Says David: ''Gerry will be eternally associated with Liverpool and Wirral.

"He was proud of his roots and was awarded the Freedom of the City in 2009.

"How appropriate, therefore, that the song is now the title track of this album for Gerry".

Sir Kenny Dalglish was also a fan of Gerry and commented on the star's sad passing: "I don't think it should ever be underestimated how important Gerry has been to millions of Liverpool fans."

Last word goes to fan and friend - David Martin: "If ever there was a man who never walked alone, that man was Gerry Marsden.

"'He is dearly missed and will never be forgotten.

"He has a special place in my heart and forever in his home town of Liverpool.''

My Home Town In Memory of Gerry Marsden 1942 – 2021. Out on June 25 (Angel Air Records).