Monday, March 14, 2016

A George Martin Production: Don't Let the Sun Catch Your Crying

What band from Liverpool band was produced by George Martin, managed by Brian Epstein, and had their first three singles on an EMI label hit #1 on the UK charts? If you answered The Beatles, then you were wrong. While The Beatles were from Liverpool, produced by Martin, and were managed by Epstein, their first three EMI releases charted at #17, #2, and #1 in the UK. The band in question was Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Their first three singles, “How Do You Do It?,” “I Like It,” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” all were number one releases in the UK. In the US, the trio of hits placed respectfully at #9, #17, and #48. The band’s biggest hit in the US, also produced by George Martin, was “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying”; it charted at #4 in 1964.

Written by the band’s leader Gerry Marsden, “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying” is notable for its use of major 7th chords, lush strings, and the tasteful accent of a single oboe. Since George Martin studied oboe, I’m wondering if this influenced his decision to use the instrument on this recording. Martin’s talent as a producer is evident on this ballad

Although Gerry and the Pacemakers recorded for Columbia (UK), an EMI subsidiary that separated from the American label of the same name in the 1930s, EMI’s American arm (Capitol Records) passed on Gerry and The Pacemakers. They had initially passed on The Beatles, but later became their American label. Gerry and Pacemakers were signed to the independent Laurie Records in the US. Laurie remained their American label during the band’s three-year run from 1963-1966.

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