Stop your cryin' when the birds sing

As a kid in the sixth grade, I went nuts over the British invasion. The Beatles, the Stones, the Animals, the Kinks, wow, it was all amazing. Even the shorter-lived stuff – the Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits, the Searchers, Chad & Jeremy, Peter & Gordon – was such a blast. We danced, we bopped, we posed, we sang along at the top of our lungs. I was even in a boy band that did some of their numbers for a while.

I had a real soft spot in my heart for Gerry and the Pacemakers, a Liverpool band whose leader, Gerry Marsden, passed on earlier today at age 78. So much so that I had an album of theirs (on vinyl, of course), played in heavy rotation right alongside Something New and Beatles '65.

The rockers were catchy, but the slow ones got to me even more. "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" and "Ferry Cross the Mersey." They may not be "Yesterday," but they're close.

There was so much incredible music waiting to come out of England in the early '60s. The New York and L.A. establishments had no idea what they were in for.

May God rest Mr. Marsden. "We don't care what your name is, boy, we'll never turn you away."