British rock and roll began up north, in Liverpool, a port city soaking up the music seamen brought home with them from far and wide. By the late 50s, a local style had evolved - skiffle, from which hundreds of local bands found their way to American rock and roll, bolder and more popular than the British radio hits of the time.
The new sound was called Mersey Beat, after the river that runs through Liverpool. Its most famous band was The Beatles. Their closest rival was Gerry and the Pacemakers - their front man, Gerry Marsden, has died in the UK. He was 78.
Listen to my ABC Radio story on Mersey Beat and Gerry Marsden
Richard is a writer, podcaster, radio and TV broadcaster, an editor, and a lover of music. He tells the stories of how great songs are made, and of the people who make them.