lunedì 10 ottobre 2016

BILLY FURY - Ronald William Wycherley (17 April 1940 – 28 January 1983)

Billy Fury

Billy Fury, nome d'arte di Ronald William Wycherley (Liverpool, 17 aprile 1940 – Paddington, 28 gennaio 1983), è stato un cantante inglese.  

Biografia

I primi passi

Il cantante nacque al Sefton General Hospital di Liverpool dai genitori Albert e Jean. Crebbe nel Dingle – lo stesso quartiere degradato di Liverpool nel quale abitò Ringo Starr fino a ventidue anni – e lì frequentò le scuole medie e l'Istituto Superiore al Dingle Vale. Di salute cagionevole, da piccolo contrasse una febbre reumatica che gli portò seri disturbi cardiaci e che influenzò la carriera musicale, dato che per questa ragione e per i ricoveri in ospedale alcuni concerti dovettero essere cancellati; la carriera dal vivo si chiuse prematuramente e l'artista si ritirò in una fattoria dove si dedicò all'allevamento dei cavalli.
All'età di undici anni iniziò a prendere lezioni di pianoforte e a quattordici ebbe la sua prima chitarra. La sua crescita musicale ebbe luogo nel periodo corrispondente all'esplosione in Gran Bretagna dello skiffle, da cui l'artista in erba venne coinvolto tanto che a quindici anni era già il leader di un gruppo musicale. Compositore delle proprie canzoni, nel giro di tre anni vinse una gara per giovani talenti. Fu l'impresario Larry Parnes a scoprire le doti di Wycherley. La leggenda riferisce che il cantante era presente allo spettacolo “The Larry Parnes Extravaganza”, nel quale si esibiva il giovane rocker Marty Wilde. Durante uno scambio di battute fra i due cantanti nel backstage, Parnes notò le qualità musicali di Wycherley che perciò in quell'occasione venne fatto partecipare allo spettacolo ricevendo dal pubblico un caloroso riconoscimento.

La carriera artistica

L'inizio della carriera di Wycherley risale al 1959, anno in cui il cantante registrò un brano di sua composizione, Maybe Tomorrow. Poco dopo avvenne il suo debutto televisivo in cui, con una performance seduttiva, rivelò un'espressione vocale profonda e intensa tale da poter essere accostato a due nomi del momento, Gene Vincent ed Eddie Cochran; con quest'ultimo era in programma un tour congiunto negli Stati Uniti che però fu annullato a causa della prematura scomparsa di Cochran.
Dopo il successo raggiunto con alcuni singoli, Billy Fury (come Parnes aveva soprannominato Wycherley) nell'aprile incise il primo album, The Sound of Fury, accompagnato dal chitarrista Joe Brown e da Andy White alla batteria. Il disco ebbe un lusinghiero successo di vendite e di critica, e venne considerato il primo grande album britannico di rock and roll – e uno dei più grandi del tempo secondo il giudizio che ne diede Keith Richards nel 1970
Nello stesso anno, Billy Fury incrociò John Lennon e la sua formazione quando questi erano famosi soltanto nel Merseyside. Parnes aveva in programma di far esibire Fury assieme al miglior gruppo di Liverpool, così organizzò un provino nel quale il cantante avrebbe potuto scegliere fra cinque formazioni locali: Gerry & the Pacemakers, Cliff Roberts & the Rockers, Cass & the Cassanovas, Derry & the Senior e gli allora Silver Beatles. Questi ultimi vennero indicati da Fury come il gruppo più dotato, ma Parnes era rimasto perplesso dall'età e dall'aspetto del batterista Tommy Moore; l'impresario notò anche le difficoltà tecniche di Stuart Sutcliffe al basso, e propose di ingaggiare il gruppo lasciando a casa il bassista. L'offerta fu decisamente rifiutata da Lennon, perciò il complesso prescelto risultò essere Cass & The Cassanovas.
In seguito, Billy Fury ebbe modo di cantare supportato da altri gruppi fra i quali i Beat Boys e i Blue Flames che successivamente sarebbero stati capeggiati da Georgie Fame.
Nel 1960 la Decca Records decise di ammorbidire il sound di Fury. Con la casa discografica il cantante pubblicò diversi pezzi che raggiunsero il successo, come Talkin' in My Sleep e Don't Worry. L'anno dopo raggiunse il nº 3 delle classifiche con Halfway to Paradise, e pochi mesi dopo la vetta fu sfiorata da altri successi come Jealousy e I'd Never Find Another You. La popolarità di Fury cominciò a declinare con l'affermarsi dei Beatles nei gusti giovanili; il cantante continuò a incidere e ad avere buoni successi musicali e televisivi, ma a metà degli anni sessanta la sua salute iniziò a peggiorare. Dopo avere lasciato la Decca per firmare un contratto con la EMI, nel 1970 e l'anno successivo Fury subì due interventi chirurgici al cuore, ma nonostante le difficoltà di salute effettuò una fortunata tournée assieme al suo mito giovanile Marty Wilde e nel 1973 interpretò il ruolo di Stormy Tempest nel film That'll Be the Day recitando assieme a Ringo Starr.

La fine

La carriera musicale di Fury fu interrotta definitivamente nel 1976 a seguito di un ulteriore intervento chirurgico. Il cantante effettuò alcune incisioni di vecchi successi e nel 1981 pubblicò un singolo, Be Mine Tonight, che non raggiunse un posto significativo nelle classifiche. Il 4 marzo 1982 Billy Fury ebbe un collasso e fu vicino alla morte. Nonostante le successive incisioni di Love or Money e Devil or Angel e la voglia di esibirsi in tour, il 27 gennaio 1983 fu trovato a casa sua privo di coscienza. Trasportato in ospedale, morì poche ore dopo il ricovero.

Discografia

Album principali

  • 1960 – Billy Fury (Ace of Clubs)
  • 1960 – The Sound of Billy Fury (Decca)
  • 1960 – Billy (Decca)
  • 1963 – We Want Billy
  • 1965 – I Gotta Horse (Decca)
  • 1972 – World of Billy Fury (Decca)
  • 1980 – World of, Vol. 2 (Decca)
  • 1983 – The Only One (Polydor)
  • 2000 – Wonderous Place: Live (Ozit)
  • 2002 – Sings a Buddy Holly Song (Ozit)
  • 2002 – Last Concert (Oz/T Morpheus)
  • 2008 – Rarities, Vol. 9 (Ozit)


Ronald William Wycherley (17 April 1940 – 28 January 1983), better known by his stage name Billy Fury, was an English singer from the late 1950s to the mid 1960s, and remained an active songwriter until the 1980s. Rheumatic fever, which he first contracted as a child, damaged his heart and ultimately contributed to his death. An early British rock and roll (and film) star, he equalled the Beatles' record of 24 hits in the 1960s, and spent 332 weeks on the UK chart, without a chart-topping single or album.
Allmusic journalist Bruce Eder stated, "His mix of rough-hewn good looks and unassuming masculinity, coupled with an underlying vulnerability, all presented with a good voice and some serious musical talent, helped turn Fury into a major rock and roll star in short order". Others have suggested that Fury's rapid rise to prominence was due to his "Elvis Presley-influenced, hip-swivelling and at times highly suggestive stage act."

Early years

Ronald William Wycherley was born at Smithdown Hospital (later Sefton General Hospital, now demolished), Smithdown Road, Liverpool. He commenced music lessons on the piano before he was a teenager, and was bought his first guitar by the age of 14. Wycherley fronted his own group in 1955, but simultaneously worked full-time on a tugboat and later as a docker. He entered and won a talent competition, and by 1958 had started composing his own songs. Wycherley first attended a concert at the Essoldo Theatre in Birkenhead, run by impresario Larry Parnes, in the hope of interesting famous singer Marty Wilde in some of the songs he had written. Instead, in an episode that has become pop music legend, Parnes pushed young Wycherley up on stage right away. He was such an immediate success that Parnes signed him, added him to the tour, and renamed him 'Billy Fury'. However, his early sexual and provocative stage performances received censure, and he was forced to tone them down. In October 1959, the UK music magazine, NME, commented that Fury's stage antics had been drawing much press criticism.
He released his first hit single for Decca, "Maybe Tomorrow", in 1959. He also appeared in a televised play Strictly for Sparrows, and subsequently on Oh Boy! In March 1960, he reached No. 9 in the UK Singles Chart with his own composition "Colette", followed by "That's Love" and his first album The Sound of Fury (1960), which featured a young Joe Brown on lead guitar, with backup vocals by the Four Jays.
After securing more hits and jettisoning his band Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, Parnes held auditions in Liverpool for a new group. Among those who auditioned were the Beatles, who at this time were still calling themselves the Silver Beetles. They were offered the job for £20 a week on condition that they sacked their bassist Stuart Sutcliffe. John Lennon refused and the band left after Lennon had secured Fury's autograph. The Tornados were recruited as Fury's backing band and toured and recorded with him from January 1962 to August 1963. The Puppets were another band that backed Billy on a couple of gigs for 12 months.

UK chart and film success

Fury concentrated less on rock and roll and more on mainstream ballads, such as "Halfway to Paradise" and "Jealousy" (which reached No. 3 and No. 2 respectively in the UK Singles Chart in 1961). Fury confessed to the NME that "I wanted people to think of me simply as a singer – and not, more specifically, as a rock singer. I'm growing up, and I want to broaden my scope. I shall continue to sing rock songs, but at the same time my stage act is not going to be as wild in the future". It was Decca's decision to mould Fury into a teen idol after his last self-penned song, "My Christmas Prayer", had failed to chart. The years 1961 through 1963 were Fury's best years chartwise. In 1962 Fury appeared in his first film, Play It Cool, modelled on the Elvis films. It featured Helen Shapiro, Danny Williams, Shane Fenton and Bobby Vee, who appeared with the Vernons Girls. The hit single from the film was "Once Upon a Dream". There were other notable performances by several British actors and performers such as Richard Wattis, Lionel Blair and Dennis Price.
Fury's We Want Billy! (1963) was one of the first live albums in UK rock history and featured renditions of his hits and cover versions of several R&B songs such as "Unchain My Heart".
In 1965 he appeared in the film I've Gotta Horse, which also featured his backing group the Gamblers, the Bachelors, Amanda Barrie, Michael Medwin and Jon Pertwee. The album from the film was made available in stereo. Fury left Decca Records in 1966, after signing to a five-year recording contract with Parlophone.
Having had more UK hits, such as "It's Only Make Believe" and "I Will" (written by Dick Glasser, not to be confused with the Paul McCartney song), both in 1964, and "In Thoughts of You" (1965), Fury began a lengthy absence from the charts in 1967, and underwent surgery for heart problems in 1972 and 1976 which led to his abandoning touring. Despite spending many weeks on the charts, Fury never achieved a number one single, but he remained popular even after his hits stopped. "I Will" became a US hit for Dean Martin (1965) and for Ruby Winters (1977).

Later years

In 1973, Fury emerged from a period of semi-retirement to star as 'Stormy Tempest' in the film That'll Be the Day. Also starring David Essex and Ringo Starr, it was roughly based on the early days of the Beatles. Starr was from the Dingle area of Liverpool as was also Fury, and had originally played drums for Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, whom the Stormy Tempest group were said to be modelled upon.
In the mid-1970s Fury went out on the road with Marty Wilde. Away from the spotlight, he focused on wildlife preservation. Fury's health deteriorated and he underwent two open heart surgeries - the first was in 1972, and the second in 1976. In 1978 he was declared bankrupt for unpaid taxes from the Inland Revenue. The unpaid taxes were dated back to 1962, and amounted to £16,780. He was also forced to sign over his royalties and publishing income. A new release, "Be Mine Tonight" (1981), failed to make an appearance in the UK Singles Chart. Worse was to follow in March 1981 when Fury, working on his own farm, collapsed and almost perished. He returned to touring later that year and his next two singles, "Love or Money" and "Devil or Angel", just dented the UK chart. In 1981 and 1982, Fury was signed to Polydor Records by A&R man Frank Neilson and recorded a comeback album, The One and Only (released posthumously) with Shakin' Stevens' producer Stuart Colman. Owing to his health, Fury did little touring to promote the new album. His last public appearance was at the Sunnyside, Northampton, on 4 December 1982, Fury recorded a live performance for the television show, Unforgettable, featuring six of his old hits although, at the request of his mother, only four of these were broadcast.

Personal life

Fury lived with Lee Middleton from 1959 to 1967. During this time, he had a short relationship with actress Amanda Barrie, his co-star in I've Gotta Horse.
He married Judith Hall in May 1969, but later left her for heiress Lisa Voice (née Rosen). They lived together in London and sometimes on Fury's farm in Wales, from 1971 until his death although they were leading separate lives for the last two years. Fury was a keen birdwatcher.

Death

After returning from a recording session in the early hours of 28 January 1983, Fury collapsed from a heart attack at his home in London. His personal manager Tony Read found him unconscious the next morning. He was rushed to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, but died later in the afternoon, aged 42. A week later his funeral was held at the St John's Wood church in London, for which his body was embalmed by Desmond Henley. Among the mourners were Larry Parnes, Marty Wilde, Jess Conrad, Eden Kane, Tony Read, Hal Carter and Mick Green, in addition to family members, friends and fans. The choir sang a special version of Billy's Decca hit "I'm Lost Without You". After the service Billy was buried at Mill Hill cemetery. A track issued posthumously, "Forget Him", became his final single chart hit.

Legacy

On 10 April 1983, a tribute concert for Billy was held at the Beck Theatre in Hayes, Middlesex. All the artists performed for free and the money raised was donated to the Billy Fury memorial fund for research into heart disease. On the bill were such names as Marty Wilde with his daughter Kim Wilde, Joe Brown, Alvin Stardust, Dave Berry, Helen Shapiro and John Miles.[citation needed]
In 1999 a TV documentary about Billy called Halfway to Paradise was broadcast on the BBC channel. It was narrated by Ian Dury.
Between 1999 and 2000 the song "Wondrous Place", a favourite of Fury's (he re-recorded it at least three times during his career), later received wide airplay on British television when it was used as the theme for a Toyota Yaris car advertisement.
On 19 April 2003 a bronze statue of Fury was unveiled by Jack Good at the National Museum of Liverpool Life. The sculpture, by Tom Murphy, a Liverpool sculptor, was donated by 'The Sound of Fury' fan club after the money was raised by fans.
In 2005 Spencer Leigh from BBC Radio Merseyside published a biography book about Billy Fury called Wondrous Face – The Billy Fury Story.
In 2008 a biographical documentary film Billy Fury: His Wondrous Story was released on DVD.
Eight of his EMI recordings remained unreleased on mainstream CD until June 2010, when they appeared on a 29-track issue, The Complete Parlophone Singles, released by Peaksoft (PEA009). The singer's estate licensed the tracks to benefit his memorial fund, which finances equipment purchases for hospital heart units.
In November 2011, further co-operation between the estate and Peaksoft resulted in the issuing of a second CD, The Lost Album (PEA014), which attempted to construct the format of an album recorded by Fury in 1967–71, but which was never released.
In 2010 Camden Council, London, named a small formerly nameless road Billy Fury Way in his honour. It starts just off Finchley Road near Finchley & Frognal station and runs to West Hampstead Station. He had recorded at the nearby Decca Studios. The alleyway was decorated with a large mural of his face (at the West Hampstead end), which was unveiled and blessed on Friday 29 July 2011.
Play It Cool was released for the first time on DVD on 10 February 2014.
Fury's backing band from 1970 until 1976, when he stopped touring due to ill heath, were Fury's Tornados, named by Billy and his then manager Hal Carter. They continue to tour in the theatre show "Halfway to Paradise: The Billy Fury Story".

References in popular culture

  • His life was dramatised for BBC Radio in 1994, in a play called The Sound of Fury, with Anton Lesser playing the singer.
  • Rock band Devilish Presley recorded a song "Billy Fury is Dead", for their 2008 Flesh Ride album. They were interviewed about it in the "Tributes" section of the "Official" Billy Fury website.
  • Bernie Taupin included the song, "Billy Fury", on his album, Tribe, released in 1986. Sound effects at the beginning of the song gave the impression that it is being played on a jukebox, and the "imaginary" vocalist sang about his desire to "be like Billy Fury" and have the trappings of a rock singer. Elton John appeared towards the end of the song contributing some backing vocals.
  • In 1987, Fury was featured on the cover of The Smiths' last single, "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me".
  • In the 2009 film Telstar, directed by Nick Moran, Fury was played by Jon Lee.

Quotation

NME – May 1963


 

Halfway to Paradise -- Billy Fury - YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MTXBQp5OgI
22 set 2010 - Caricato da snapshotofharlech
halfway to paradise billy fury. ... No Elvis gave the song to Billy Fury when Billy fury met Elvis on the set of ...

I want to be your lover
But your friend is all I've stayed
I'm only halfway to paradise
So near, yet so far away
I long for your lips to kiss my lips
But just when I think they may
You lead me halfway to paradise
So near, yet so far away, mmm
Bein' close to you is almost heaven (heaven)
But seein' you can do just so much
It hurts me so to know your heart's a treasure (treasure)
And that my heart is forbidden to touch, so
Put your sweet lips close to my lips
And tell me that's where they're gonna stay
Don't lead me halfway to paradise
Mmm, so near, yet so far away
Oh, uh, oh so near, yet so far away
Yeah, yeah so near, yet so far away
Written by Carole King, Gerry Goffin • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC


Billy Fury - Wondrous place (HQ) - YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIJDVCI9PDk
03 gen 2011 - Caricato da TheOldrecordclub
I play this song at Billy Fury weekenders with my band.Maybe his coolest song.I was talking with Billy's mum ...
I found a place full of charms
A magic world in my baby's arms
Her soft embrace like satin and lace
Wondrous place

What a spot in a storm
To cuddle up and stay nice and warm
Away from harm in my baby's arms
Wondrous place

Man I'm nowhere
When I'm anywhere else
But I don't care
Everything's right when she holds me tight

Her tender hands on my face
I'm in heaven in her embrace
I want to stay and never go away
Wondrous place

Man I'm nowhere
When I'm anywhere else
But I don't care
Everything's right when she holds me tight

Her tender hands on my face
I'm in heaven in her embrace
I want to stay and never go away
Wondrous place
Songwriters: GIANT, BILL/LEWIS, JEFF
A Wondrous Place lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.


Billy Fury Maybe Tomorrow - YouTube

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8bpXS7aI_w
10 nov 2013 - Caricato da Billy Fury
Billy Fury performing his very first hit in late 1982 to mark his comeback. This turned out to be one of his last ...

BILLY FURY Maybe Tomorrow (1959) - YouTube

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9QJt1GpTQA
25 dic 2009 - Caricato da imanuglyfrog
BILLY FURY Maybe Tomorrow (1959). imanuglyfrog ... ELVIS PRESLEY & BILLY FURY DUET- Because Of ...


Billy Fury - I'd Never Find Another You. 1963 - YouTube

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YvQyAXHUUY
27 ago 2011 - Caricato da Kevin Allen
absolutely gorgeous. such a voice n them looks. grew up listening to my mum singing to his songs n even now I ...
I'd never find another you
Don't ever worry that I'll leave you
That's such a foolish thing to do
How could I ever go
When in my heart I know
I'd never find another you
I might find other arms to hold me
But they would only leave me blue
The thrill of your embrace
Is what I can't replace
I'd never find another you

BRIDGE:

Though there are times when we may quarrel
I can't stay mad at you for more
Than just a minute or two, now
I know I'd never want to leave you
Cause if I searched my whole life through
I know there'd only be
A second best for me
I'd never find another you

I know I'd never want to leave you
Cause if I searched my whole life through
I know there'd only be
A second best for me
I'd never find another you
I'd never find another........you
Songwriters: King, Carole / Goffin, Gerry
I'd Never Find Another You lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

BILLY FURY JEALOUSY - YouTube

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_pcic7RcEs
30 gen 2011 - Caricato da 5maz9
BILLY FURY JEALOUSY. 5maz9's channel. SubscribeSubscribed ... Billy Fury-Last Night Was Made For ...

 
 



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