It is easy to forget that this Rodgers and Hammerstein song, written in 1945, started life as part of the score for the musical Carousel. The unusual plot is based on a return to Earth by a deceased carnival barker, Billy Bigelow, who is given permission to spend one day among the living to make amends to his widow, Julie Jordan and their daughter.You’ll Never Walk Alone was originally sung by Christine Johnson, and later in the movie of the same name by Shirley Jones. Gordon McCrae played the role of Billy Bigelow, and it was the most memorable song in a brilliant score “When you walk through a storm/ Hold your head up high/ And don’t be afraid of the dark…”
Liverpool’s Gerry and the Pacemakers recorded it and it became their third consecutive UK #1 hit in 1963, George Martin added strings, Gerry got through the vocals, Liverpool adopted it as their club anthem and it was #1 everywhere except in the USA. In 2020 radio stations across Europe and the UK simultaneously played You’ll Never Walk Alone in a show of solidarity on March 20, and it has topped a “lockdown listening list” collated by the Official Charts Co. of the UK. 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore, who had been walking lengths of his garden to raise £26 million for COVID research, joined forces with the NHS Voices of Care Choir to record a charity cover of the song, which promptly became a UK #1 all over again, making Tom the oldest person to have a #1 hit, he turned 100 on April 30th and was recently promoted to the rank of honorary Colonel.