Single Stories: Gerry and the Pacemakers, “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying”
53 years ago this month, the Liverpudlian lads known as Gerry and the Pacemakers made their debut on the Billboard Hot 100 with the single that truly broke them in America.
Written by the band themselves (that would be Gerry Marsden, Freddie Marsden, Les Chadwick, and Les Maguire), “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying” was actually first given to singer Louise Cordet, who had previous toured with Gerry and the Pacemakers. Produced by Tony Meehan, Cordet’s version failed to set the charts on fire, so the boys in the band decided that they’d give it a go themselves and see what fate might have in store for their take on the track.
As history reveals, fate was apparently quite fond of Gerry and the Pacemakers’ version: the song climbed to #6 in the UK Singles chart and made it even higher in the States, where it topped out at #4. With their star on the rise, the band scored a booking on The Ed Sullivan Show, which gave them enough of an additional boost in profile that their label decided to try reissuing their preceding four singles “I’m the One,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “I Like It,” and “How Do You Do It?” and see if they’d have any luck on our side of the pond.
They did: “I’m the One” hit #82, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” hit #48, “I Like It” hit #17, and “How Do You Do It?” hit #9. Better yet, in the midst of all of these reissues, they also released “Ferry Cross The Mersey,” which hit #6. None of these chartings are anything to cry about…but none of them beat “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying,” either.