Major Television Documentary on the Mersey Beat story
Mirage Films are making a 90-minute documentary, "The Mersey Beat Files," centered on the musical
phenomenon that arose in Liverpool in the early Sixties and made a huge impact around the world with the Beatles
and other Mersey groups.
Stars such as Gerry Marsden have already agreed to appear and the focus will be on the story of the Mersey
Beat newspaper, launched in 1961, which led to Brian Epstein discovering the Beatles.
Bill Harry, who coined the phrase "Mersey Beat" and launched a newspaper of that name, is excited that at last
the true story of that unique musical scene will be told with a degree of accuracy not previously attempted by
Harry, in fact, was programme assistant to the last documentary using the theme, "Beat City", which was made
in 1963. "It's about time the true story was told," he says, "it was a sociological revolution too and that will be a part
of the theme. "It was a diverse musical scene with not only groups such as the Beatles, Gerry & the Pacemakers and the
Searchers, but country music groups, folk artists, black vocal harmony outfits, lots of female singers and even
The late Cavern disc jockey Bob Wooler referred to Harry as "the Boswell of Beat", because he was the only
person documenting the scene as it actually happened and the programme will be using unique and rare Mersey
Beat material, including original works by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Brian Epstein"s reports on the
Beatles early career, and a virtually cornucopia of images never seen since the original publication of Mersey Beat.
This is part of a Mersey Beat renaissance which is building up to 2008 when Liverpool becomes the European City
of Culture. A Mersey Beat website has already been launched on www.mersey-beat.com, Mersey Beat
memorabilia has now been officially licensed and includes replica issues of the original newspaper, a Mersey Beat
book is being prepared and even a Mersey Beat comic is in development.
Harry will also be re-launching Mersey Beat as a newspaper in August 2005, reporting on the current Merseyside
talent.He recently compiled the CDs "Mersey Beat" and "The Best of the Fourmost" for EMI Gold, and says a shoal
of original Mersey Beat music is set for release by EMI and other major record companies.