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Is this an icon?



Over the years, as we like to pride ourselves, we have been firmly at the cutting-edge of innovation in pop music, exporting our artists and our styles all over the world. And it was with Merseybeat (or the Mersey Sound, as it was originally known) that our world-leading position essentially began. Before the dawn of the 1960s, all the running was made in the USA, home of Elvis Presley and the earliest generation of rock-and-rollers.

Then, in the early sixties, the world changed. The scene that grew up around the Cavern Club on Liverpool’s Mathew Street was to influence the sound of British, and to some extent American, pop for years to come. It centred of course on a band originally known as the Silver Beatles, who had forged something of a reputation for themselves in the nightclubs of Hamburg, and went on to rock the world.

As well as the Beatles, names to carve with pride include: Gerry and the Pacemakers (‘Ferry Cross The Mersey’, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’), Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas (‘I Call Your Name’), the Searchers (‘Needles And Pins’), the Fourmost (‘Hello Little Girl’) and of course the Merseybeats (‘I Think Of You’), who took their name from a music paper, founded by Bill Harry, which became the house journal of the movement.

Read about the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album here.

Photo: www.merseybeatnostalgia.co.uk


Your comments

Merseybeat, especially the music of the Beatles, kick-started the Swinging Sixties and was fundamental to the pop music that has been such an essential part of our lives ever since.

Paul Higson

Merseybeat was an institution - it changed the face of the music world. The music was exciting and heralded in an era of excitement and fresh attitudes. But perhaps one of the most important yet forgotten things about it was the way it brought a famous old city back to life. At the height of Merseybeat, the city was like one huge musical family - everyone knew everyone else, everyone was friendly to each other and we all literally sang from the same song sheet. Yes, The Beatles, The Searchers and Gerry and The Pacemakers were the famous face of Merseybeat, but the soul of the music belonged to the hundreds of smaller groups who played around the clubs in the city night after night.
Ian Evans

Allthough the Merseysound isn't spectacular. Musically spoken. The sound is interesting because of the feeling you get when you hear it. When you hear not only the Beatles but also bands like the Remo Four, Searchers, Mojos, Merseys etc. etc. And don't forget Cilla Black and Beryl Marsden. It is music that reminds me of the time that, for me as a kid of 15, happyness was common.
Paul Tennekes

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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry