Please note that this is an edited version of Paul and Shaun's excellent site, which includes only specific Billy Fury material. To visit their full site, please click here or on any of the internal links, which are fully functional.
PHIL & SHAUN'S PAGE INDEX:
The Original Band - Still Rockin' Around The Clock
THE BILLY FURY EXPERIENCE
RIP CARSON and the Twilight Trio
THE RAILMEN: Phil's Show Review
LEE ROCKER - LIVE CD
THE TOWN HALL PARTY TV SHOWS: Gene and Eddie
NARVEL FELTS' ROLLIN' ROCK CD
LINDA GAIL LEWIS: CD
Billy Lee Riley: King's Hotel, Newport, South Wales
Dale Hawkins: Born in Louisiana
The Rimshots: Tribute to Hank Williams
REVIEWS: SCOTTY & D.J
"The Devil, Me and Jerry Lee" by LINDA GAIL
BILLY FURY TRIBUTE
MACK STEVENS: HARDCORE TEXAS CAT MUSIC!
GERALD "BOUNCE" GREGORY OBITUARY
PHIL & SHAUN'S OTHER
ROCKABILLY HOF CONTRIBUTIONS:
The "ROCKIN' TOP 40" / Shaun Mather
Shaun's SHAKIN' STEVENS page
Phil & Shaun's DAVE EDMUNDS page
Shaun & Phil's STRAY CAT page
Phil's CARL MANN page
Shaun's Great Page on Johnny Horton
Phil & Shaun's Rockabilly HOF Page on BOB LUMAN
Shaun's Rockabilly HOF Page on BUCK GRIFFIN
Phil & Shaun: WARREN SMITH
Phil's excellent MOON MULLICAN'S page
The Louvin Brothers
West Texas Bop
Bob & Lucille
Billy Fury: 40th Anniversary
Darrel Higham: Cochran Connection
Stomper Time Records
Dale Hawkins' CD
The Gene & Eddie Show
Eddie Cochran R&R Weekend
After a year on line Shaun and I discovered that many our friends/readers in Europe, US and all over the globe seemed to think that Wales was merely a small country that was part of England (not!!). We may be small with a population of under three million people, but we have a distinctive diverse culture, history and a rocking tradition reaching back to the fifties. Indeed the ethnically diverse areas of Cardiff`s famous Tiger Bay were swinging to imported US sounds in the early 50s, with 78s by Joe Turner and Wynonie Harris etc being brought in by Welsh sailors who travelled the world from Cardiff on coal and merchant ships.
South Wales has been a bastion of the UK`s rocking scene from the 50s through the barren 60s and 70s with bands like the Backbeats, Dave Edmunds, Shakin` Stevens & The Sunsets and Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers defiantly waving a confederate flag in the face of bland UK pop. Many of those pioneering musicians are still rocking hard as the new millenium approaches.
Of course many of the 80s/90s bands are continuing that tradition. The very successful award winning Rimshots are the present champions but we have other contenders too. Our first pages in this section featured our most commercially successful artists Shaky and Dave Edmunds. Over the coming months we aim to feature many of the past and present stalwarts of the big beat.
THE BILLY FURY EXPERIENCE
HALFWAY TO PARADISE
Thursday 30th September 1999
If there's one thing I hate more than Man Utd, it's Elvis impersonators. Some seem to get so immersed in the part, they actually believe they're him! However, sunglasses and sideburns do not an Elvis make! Having seen the Website and photos of the Billy Fury Experience it was obvious that this was a more tasteful, respectful affair, and it was therefore an evening I had looked forward to for some time.
The band consist of three members of Billy's 70's touring band, billed as Fury's Tornados and lead singer Colin Gold. Colin had appeared on ITV's Stars In Their Eyes and had impressed the Tornados sufficiently for them to arrange a get together to try out a few numbers. Things went well and the Billy Fury Experience came into being.
The Grand Theatre in Swansea is named appropriately and was the type of stage Billy himself would have strutted his stuff on, which gave the show an authentic feel. It was also the early 60's when Phil last took his wife Mair out, another nice touch!
The show started with the sounds of Liverpool's dockland and a quick run through the early life of the cities finest singer (bar none!!). The band opened both parts of the show with the likes of Hoots Mon, Just Like Eddie, Diamonds etc. before the appearance of Gold who came on dressed in the gold lame suit a la Sound Of Fury. Launching into Like I've Never Been Gone, it was obvious that a good night was definitely on. The rest of the show followed in a fairly chronological order. Maybe Tomorrow was brilliant as were the rockers Gonna Type A Letter and Don't Knock Upon My Door. Other highlights of the first set were Collete, That's Love and the magical Wondrous Place. Phil's favourite of the night was Nobody's Child performed with only guitar accompaniment. Another nice touch, was a convincing a cappella version of Devil Or Angel, before going to the interval with Jealousy, Julie's favourite of the night.
For the second half, Gold was in the shiny blue suit. This impressed my Missus so much that I was starting to sing Jealousy to myself. The hits followed, all excellently performed, Halfway To Paradise, I Will, In Summer before an amazing It's Only Make Believe. This was a stunning version and generated so much excitement that I hardly heard the closer, Forget Him, from the last album.
This really was a great night and I highly recommend you check it out for yourself. For band information visit their Webster at http://www.paradisepromotions.co.uk/
40th Anniversary Anthology
DERAM 844 874-2
This year marks 40 years since the great Billy Fury first recorded for the Decca label in their London studio. To celebrate the occasion we are blessed with this double CD with a generous 63 tracks and an enjoyable booklet crammed with great photos. Probably unknown to most Americans, Billy was one of Britain's few real deals with his brilliant Sound Of Fury album rightly regarded as the closest thing produced here in Britain to the rockabilly sounds of the southern States. In the early sixties he rented a permanent space in the top ten with superbly sang big ballads. His stage show remained a highly charged sexual affair but as the sixties progressed the hits dried up and being a man of exquisite taste he retired to the beauty of Mid Wales. A brief comeback in the early eighties was halted when Billy passed away following a heart attack.
The tracks on this treat range from 1959 to 1966 and there were only about five I didn't like. The first disc starts off in cracking style with Maybe Tomorrow appearing in stereo for the first time. The voice is so pure and this is one of the features of his career. Even when Billy was backed by an orchestra you knew you were listening to Billy Fury not Tony Bennett. The flip was the great rocker Gonna Type A Letter and this impressive debut just crept into the top twenty in Blighty. The follow up followed the same format, a beauty in Margo backed with a rocker in Don't Knock Upon My Door. This only climbed to 28 and the next two failed to register despite the same high standards. All four sides are featured here. The fifth single is a belter, Collette sounds like an Everly Brothers classic and justly cracked the top ten, the first of ten singles to do so during the next five years. The mean and moody Baby How I Cried is pure magic with Billy's voice as good as Elvis on Elvis Is Back - honestly.
Only three tracks from the exquisite Sound Of Fury album are included here, the bouncy That's Love (no. 19), My Advice and Turn My Back On You. All three are great with Scotty guitar, Jordanaires backing vocals and the usual brilliant vocals. (As an aside, my cat Billy Furry has just come and sat on my lap as if to keep an eye on me.)
Next up is one of my Desert Island discs, Wondrous Place. The backing is hypnotic and the voice, wow, he out Ral's, Ral Donner. The worst thing about the song is that it only reached 25 in the charts and Decca got Billy to turn the collar down and put the pen back in the drawer. The new formula was a winner but the chart action would now revolve around mostly covers of big ballads with big bands. They're still great songs and all are featured here together with most of the flips. Non-hit highlights are the fabulous, self-written Don't Jump, great vocals and Duane Eddy style guitar and the commercial Cross My Heart, a typical early sixties pop tune like Johnny Burnette was doing at the time. Please Don't Go is another that really Ral's and you can't hear it without seeing Billy swaying in the studio, hands draped by his side, quiff perfectly sitting above up-turned collar, face tilted to the side, eyes closed and after it's finished, Billy still stood there, completely wrapped up in the performance. This is what you call singing with soul.
As the sixties progressed and the damn Beat-less and the Stoned started to take over, most of the original rockers went back to the building sites only to return to the stage for nostalgia shows. Billy Fury however, continued to pepper the top of the charts with great covers like When Will You Say I Love You, Nothing Shakin' (But The Leaves On The Tree) and It's Only Make Believe, the flip of which was a brilliant version of Baby What You Want Me To Do, featured here in crystal clear sound.
The last hit to be featured on the Anthology is the big sound of I'll Never Quite Get Over You, a sentiment shared by his many devoted fans this side of the pond. The last few songs bear little reference to the true Billy Fury sound, but are great for the completists.
This really is a quality product and should be supported by one and all. For those in the US, buy with confidence, this is better than sex (well, it lasts longer anyway!). I bought mine in Tower Records for £17, although I told the missus it was a fiver. If you have trouble finding it, contact Rod Pyke at the UK HoF shop who may be able to help.
Fact. Billy Fury spent 281 weeks on the British charts but never got to number one, the Spice Girls have had three no. 1's at Xmas - life is crazy.