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Billy Fury

(1940—1983) singer and songwriter


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b. Ronald Wycherley, 17 April 1940, Dingle, Liverpool, England, d. 28 January 1983, London, England. An impromptu audition in a Birkenhead dressing room resulted in Wycherley joining Larry Parnes ’ management stable. The entrepreneur provided the suitably enigmatic stage name, and added the aspirant to the bill of a current package tour. Fury enjoyed a UK Top 20 hit with his debut single, ‘Maybe Tomorrow’, in 1959 and the following year completed The Sound Of Fury, which consisted entirely of the artist’s own songs. Probably Britain’s finest example of the rockabilly genre, it owed much of its authenticity to sterling support from guitarist Joe Brown, while the Four Jays provided backing vocals. However, Fury found his greatest success with a series of dramatic ballads which, in suggesting a vulnerability, enhanced the singer’s undoubted sex appeal. His stylish good looks complemented a vocal prowess blossoming in 1961 with a cover version of Tony Orlando’s ‘Halfway To Paradise’. This superior single, arranged and scored by Ivor Raymonde, established a pattern that provided Fury with 16 further UK Top 30 hits, including ‘Jealousy’ (1961), ‘I’d Never Find Another You’ (1961), ‘Last Night Was Made For Love’ (1962), ‘Once Upon A Dream’ (1962), ‘Like I’ve Never Been Gone’ (1963), ‘When Will You Say I Love You’ (1963), ‘In Summer’ (1963), ‘It’s Only Make Believe’ (1964), and ‘In Thoughts Of You’ (1965). Fury also completed two exploitative pop movies, Play It Cool (1962) and I’ve Gotta Horse (1965) and remained one of Britain’s leading in-concert attractions throughout the early 60s. Supported initially by the Tornados, then the Gamblers, the singer showed a wider repertoire live than his label would allow on record.

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From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.


Reference entries
Works by Billy Fury

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