"How Do You Do It" was an enjoyable, if quaint, typically Merseybeat song that gave Gerry & the Pacemakers their first hit. Issued as their debut single in 1963, it made #1 in the UK and, a good year and a half later, made #10 in the US after the British Invasion had taken off there. Gerry & the Pacemakers were about the perkiest British Invasion group, and "How Do You Do It" epitomized that relentless upbeat cheer: a bouncy melody, an almost ridiculously upbeat take on romance, and a vocal by Gerry Marsden that tinted basic rock'n'roll energy with a British music hall wish to entertain. Unusually for Merseybeat, the singable hook in the instrumental intro is on piano, not guitar. Another mildly unusual hook is how, after the verses, the rhythm comes to a brief halt and then hits a gallop pace for a turnaround. The Tin Pan Alley lovey-doveyness hits a peak on the bridge, when Marsden sings of a feeling in his heart like an arrow passing through it, the bridge ending with more of those galloping rhythms before going back into the verse. There's almost a bit of jazziness to the piano solo in the instrumental break, and the last line of the verse gets repeated several times for emphasis at the very end, reinforcing the overtly cute and innocuous nature of the record. "How Do You Do It" is a well-remembered British Invasion hit, but ultimately it might have become more famous for the very interesting story behind its history than for the hit recording itself. For the Beatles, who in 1962 were only just ahead of Gerry & the Pacemakers in popularity in Liverpool, recorded the song as their projected first single in September 1962. The Beatles very much wanted to record their own material from the git-go, and were not pleased to be asked to do a song by outside writer Mitch Murray, who worked at the British music business equivalent of Tin Pan Alley. They did record it as instructed by their producer George Martin, without much enthusiasm. Fortunately, Martin was ultimately convinced that the John Lennon-Paul McCartney composition "Love Me Do," recorded at the same session, was a better choice as the Beatles' debut single, and the Beatles never did release a single song that was written by an outside composer and had never been previously released by another artist. The Beatles' version of "How Do You Do It" started circulating on bootlegs in the 1970s and finally appeared on the official Anthology 1 release. Really, this version isn't bad, though inappropriate for a Beatles single. It's far less saccharine than Gerry & the Pacemakers' version (which, incidentally, was also produced by George Martin); puts a lot more emphasis on the guitar; and has nice vocal harmonies from Lennon and McCartney. In an interesting footnote to the whole episode, the demo from which the Beatles learned the song was sung by Barry Mason, the instrumental backing provided by the Dave Clark Five, who would soon became major British Invasion stars as well.