SOUND OF FURY
A really worthwhile production this time, as Chris Eley contributes 17 pages of insight into Billy's sessions at the BBC.
Chris is understandably frustrated that his long-held ambition of putting together an authoritative piece about Billy's performances have been overtaken by the issue of this CD, for which Spencer Leigh was commissioned to provide the sleeve notes.
Chris's observations make a brilliant supplement to Spencer's excellent work.
The club answers concerns about the location of the statue in Liverpool, and our Dreaming CD receives a brief mention.
There's an appreciation of Tommy Bruce, Freddie Garrity, Roy Hetherington and Pat Young's husband, Ted.
Plans for the renovation of Billy's headstone at Mill Hill are announced. - 26 September 06.
Thanks to Cathy Homann for providing me with the first photographs of a Billy Fury rose in full bloom. - 19 June 06.
Another very smart and entertaining issue in A4 format from the editors.
There is an appeal for information about radio plays, members' letters, and a review of a 1963 Life With The Stars magazine issue, which featured Billy.
Two full page pictures are followed by a report of the Easter meeting at the statue in Liverpool, and advertisements for CDs and memorabilia stocked by the club.
Jenny Warwick tells the tale of her discovery and purchase of Billy's former home in Wales, and there are reviews of Like I've Never Been Gone, the play on Billy's life staged in Liverpool in April, of Sunnyside 06, and the February weekend at the Metropole Hotel in Blackpool.
Once again, a first class product. - 14 June 06.
The latest edition of the SoF magazine continues its customary high standard of content and production.
There are reports of Pat Young's event in Evesham in October, the Yesterday Once More weekend in Brean Sands, Somerset and a Krys concert in Nottingham.
Richard Furnell contributes an interesting piece on Billy and the Doo-Wop connection, an excerpt from Pop Weekly (Billy For King) in the 1960s, and some interesting CD reviews by Chris Eley.
Then I do have to mention a very generous six pages devoted to Sunnyside 06 (In case anyone who sees the picture wonders, no I wasn't singing!)
The piece I most enjoyed reading in the Sunnyside
review read: "During the afternoon both Billy Fury fan clubs
worked side-by-side amicably and contributed to the event in several ways."
I hope the clubs will both be back officially for Sunnyside 07, when I hope
to make available a more helpful space for them to show their wares. - 9 May
As many of you will know, Jean Wycherley likes
to nominate a charity each year to which she gives the money raised from her
raffles and auctions. This year she has decided that it will be a good idea to
give the funds to a children's home to help a needy child or children.
Big Beat Promotions kindly donated tickets for their April weekend at New Brighton as raffle prizes at the Sunnyside on March 18.
The individual tickets were soon claimed, but the weekend pass for two people was not very obvious, and was not chosen!
We therefore have two complete passes for ALL events at New Brighton, from the evening of Friday 14th April (Bachelors, Ivy League, Phil Haley and the Comets, Jimmy Cricket) and the after-show party, via Saturday's gig with Dave Chevron as Billy Fury, The Shakers and Paula May, and Sunday (Jess Conrad, Tommy Bruce, Lee Curtis, Alvin Stardust) and another party.
These are worth at least £63, plus admission charges that are not detailed!
If you would like to claim these, please e-mail me by clicking here. I will take the first offer of £30 received, but you MUST be willing to pay immediately by Paypal (I will send an e-mail link for this).
The second edition of the magazine continues the high quality of content and production established by the first one.
Among the contents are:
Today, Peter himself e-mailed me to say: Yes, I'm still alive. I remember having that picture taken not in the open air, but in a studio. We had a good laugh about it.
I haven't seen Vince for 40 years and am glad he is still performing.
I can still sing but have a strange syndrome in the throat called hyoid. It's a bone at the lower end of the tongue which gives great pain , and I cant eat speak and obviously sing.
But it comes and goes and luckily I haven't had it for a couple of months , so I'm pain-free. It's been on and off for seven years and I never know when it's gonna strike.
I last saw Billy at Fagins club in the 70s , and saw Duffy about 15 years ago. I was a compere at Fagins in Manchester and introduced Billy. I am still in contact with Liquorice Locking from the Shadows. - March 16 2006
Two years ago, an amateur drama group performed this 40-minute play at the Dingle Festival.
It has now been extended to a full two-act show, and there will be three performances in April.
Once again, Liverpool entertainer Tony Cain appears as Billy Fury, and it also features Craig Martin and the original Fourmost.
Like I've Never Been Gone is at the Unity Theatre April 11, 12 and 13. Tickets are £7, or £5 for concessions.
A review by Mags of the original show can be read here. - 27 Feb 06.
Definitely an essential publication for the 60s student, with Chris Eley's interview with Chase Webster, the American singer who made the first commercial recording of Like I've Never Been Gone.
Chris appealed on billyfury.com for information about Chase, and had a long telephone conversation with him.
The outcome was news of the first demo of the song, plus the background to Chase's recording, and the intriguing mention of a more recent release in the USA by an unknown group.
There are 18 A5 pages of the interview in the magazine, and it's all fascinating stuff.
There's also a report of the Mill Hill gathering on October 16, an interview of John Leyton, and record reviews.
The review of the long-delayed Castle release, The Luxembourg Sessions, remarks that the cover is striking and attractive. Castle obviously like the cover as well, because it's actually a recycled version of the cover of the Tornados CD, Ridin' The Wind.
The only difference is that Billy has been pasted on, to replace the model of Telstar! The designer has even kept the swirly lines that were intended to represent Telstar's signals.
Ah well, at least it saved paying for new artwork. - December 16.
The first edition of the new fan club's magazine has arrived, and it's been well worth waiting for.
There are 24 A4 pages, with pen pictures of the officers, a report of the inaugural meeting at Mill Hill, and an explanation of the club's aims.
There are also some reflections by fans on the birthday weekend in Liverpool, and reports of the Hal Carter concert, developments with the administration of the stone fund, and an update on the availability of the Billy Fury rose.
Interestingly, Mark Haley remarks on Hal's plan to put together a Billy Fury box set. I'm told authoritatively by another source that Hal believed he could assemble just about every example of Billy's output, including the films and all official recordings, on a DVD set.
Sadly, I believe that the chance to do that in the near future passed away with Hal, as he was one of the few people able to command sufficient good will from all of the individuals and companies that would need to be involved.
Don't be surprised, however, if an overseas organisation tries something similar. - 30 October 05.
The August edition of the Sound Of Fury fan club's magazine, number 25, arrived this week, and it's another very professional product.
The first feature is a two-page spread on that wonderful night we had at the SUnnyside in March, complete with a picture of Johnny Storme, Geoff Howlett, Rob Dee, Laura and Emily, together with - much less decoratively - one of the villain of the piece.
There's also a report of the Mill Hill gathering held on he 65th anniversary of Billy's birth, another report of the Hal Carter tribute event at the Palladium, and lots of reviews.
Jenny Warwick is also advertising the chance to stay in a mobile home on Billy's former farm - now Jenny's home. Now there's an offer! Give her a call on 01558 650177 in the daytime, or 01558 685642 in teh evening, if you're interested. - 8 September 05.
When Colin Paul was working in Memphis, Tennessee, recently, he dropped into the Hard Rock Café on Beale Street, and whose picture should he spot on the wall? Yes, the lad himself!
Well spotted, Colin. Let's hear about the trip! - 5 September 05.
Barbara Carlyon has forwarded the following to me, dated July 19: I was interested to read Mags' comments about the current location problems at the statue so wrote to find out what was happening. This was their reply - During installation work for the Living with the Romans exhibition we have had to temporarily close the garden to the public for Health & Safety reasons but as soon as work is finished - which will be this week, the garden will be open to the public and the Billy Fury statue will be fully accessible to the public. Our plans for a new museum mean that we will need to work with all our stakeholders, including the Billy Fury fan club, on finding temporary locations for key items in our collection whilst building work is underway. I am in touch with members of the fan club and they have been informed of our summer programme and plans for a new museum. Please contact me on 0151 4784060 if you have any other comments or concerns. Yours sincerely Jen McCarthy Head of of Social History. - July 26 2005
On July 13, a security guard at the Museum Of Liverpool Life prevented people from entering the courtyard, where the statue is sited, for safety reasons.
At present, the statue is visible only from outside the museum, from the riverside walkway.
During a Roman theme period from July 23 - December 31, the statue will be screened from the public by a wicker fence. I understand that it will be possible to go behind the fence, but space will be very limited.
Thanks to Mags Cummings for the above information.
My understanding is that at some point in the future, the statue was to have been moved to a new permanent home in the £200m Fourth Grace building planned for the waterfront, but this project has now collapsed.
Straight answers are badly needed from the trustees of the Liverpool Life museum. - 14 July 05.
HAL CARTER CONCERT PICS
Pictures of this concert, held at the London Palladium on Monday, July 11 2005, have been kindly supplied by Pat Young.
Dickie Pride's son, Richard Ludt, who lives in the United States, is appealing for reminiscences of his late father.
He saw the Charles Langley play Pride Without Prejudice, back in 1999, and now he wants to hear from anyone who knew Dickie (real name Richard Kneller).
Richard no longer has any
addresses or e-mail addresses for any of the people he met at the play.
Vince Eager passed this fascinating picture to me - it was published in Mirabelle in the early 60s.
Pictured are, left to right, Peter Wynn, a Mirabelle writer, Duffy Power, Vince, Billy and another Mirabelle writer.
Vince remembers Peter Wynn as the latest Larry Parnes signing, but he soon passed from attention.
Does anyone remember anything of him? If
so, please e-mail me.
Jenny Warwick is offering a new variety of pink rose, which has been named Billy Fury.
Orders are being taken now for plants, which are suitable for the garden or patio, and which will be available in the autumn.
For each one sold, a donation will be made to a charity chosen by Billy's mother, Mrs Jean Wycherley, who received one of the roses at the statue meet on April 17.
To order a plant, send a cheque, payable to Jenny Warwick, for £15, to PO Box 38, Crugybar, Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire, SA19 8UD.
The roses can be collected at the BFITOY Mill Hill get-together on September 25, or in Blackpool on November 11-13.
If you require one to be sent by post, add £3. - 27 April 05.
SOUND OF FURY
MAG 24 ISSUED
The fan club magazine keeps up its recent high standard with issue 24, which marks the 65th anniversary of Billy's birth.
There are the customary erudite contributions from Chris Eley, a ghosted piece by Billy from a 1961 pop book, and a report of the Variety Club dinner.
One highlight is an excellent piece of reminiscence by Mal Cook, and our own Daniel Heeney makes an appearance.
The back cover has a brilliant full-colour photograph supplied by Bob Paskins of the New Tronados.
If anyone still hasn't signed up for membership of the Sound Of Fury fan club, get your cheque book out - the magazine alone is more than worth the subscription. - 11 April 05.
Ed Stewart is making Billy his artist of the week (for the second time in three years) on the show of 17 April - this means he will play three tracks. As a taster, he played Nobody's Child today.
To request a track, e-mail him at email@example.com - 10 April 05
Stewart, who gave Fury Fest 03 a very good plug 18 months ago, was kind enough
to give the Sunnyside gig a mention on Radio 2 on March 6. If you'd like
to listen to the sequence, just click here.
- 6 March 05
The guitar CD by Peter Williams that I mentioned in November is to be released on February 21.
There are 12 excellent tracks, Hank Marvin-style, and an eight-page, mono booklet. I've played a review copy of the CD, and the biography in the booklet seems faultless.
You can contact the guitarist by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can order immediately through the Sound Of Fury fan club, who I'm told are helping with marketing.
It costs £11 including UK post, but 50p from each sale is being donated to the International League For The Protection Of Horses, via Johnny Red, in Billy's name. The club's address is PO Box 38, Crugybar, Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire, SA19 8YS.
You can also find details on Peter's web site, by clicking here.
Finally, here's another link to the HTP track.Click for sounds. - 4 February 05.
I don't usually bother mentioning the latest packaging of the K-Tel tracks. Hardly a month seems to go by without a new £2.99 issue in the supermarket dump bins.
However, I did buy one that I saw this week (Dynamic DYN 2090), mainly because of the excellent photograph, which I don't remember seeing before.
Why, though, do some publishers include only 12 of the 20 K-Tel tracks, while others do the lot for the same price? Does it really cost so much more to license them all?
The most annoying point, however, is that CD publishers are still hiring, to write sleeve notes, people who either know nothing about the subject, or who can't be bothered to do basic research. In this instance the author, Chris White, discredits everything that follows by recording that Billy was born in 1941.
Moan over. I've scanned the photograph, and I've realised that it's been reversed - if we are to believe the photograph, Billy was left handed. Please may I have my money back? - 14 January 05.
When I was planning FF03, and the FF04 that wasn't, I thought from time: "Why can't we have something on the scale of the Eddie Cochran Festival weekend?"
The organiser, John Knight, has now written to people owed money after last year's festival to tell them that it was a financial disaster,
He's told them that neither the Eddie Cochran Appreciation Society nor he have any money to pay the bills.
Very sad. - 6 January 05.
Issue No 23, dated November 2004, is
now being posted. This is the professional product to which we have become
accustomed. There is a wide selection of reports, together with a reminder that
subscription renewals are due in January. For subscription details, please
see The Fans page. - 8 December 04.
I've just had news of an enterprising CD that's due to be issued in the New Year, featuring guitar instrumentals of Billy Fury numbers.
It's called Billy Fury, Always Remembered - an Instrumental Tribute, by guitarist Peter Williams.
I've heard the first two tracks that have been laid down, HTP and Devil Or Angel - here's HTP for your early delectation. Click for sounds.
24 November 04
Jean Todd has sent me a cutting from the Liverpool Echo, inviting fans who are not attending the Variety Club dinner at the Adelphi on November 15, to bid by post for a couple of items.
These are a nylon bomber jacket once owned by Billy, and the original cast of the head for the statue now on show at the Museum Of Liverpool Life.
Proceeds will be split between the Variety Club appeal and a cancer charity supported by the newspaper.
Our friends from Track Back, who appeared at Fury Fest last year, appeared on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on July 8. Here's a brief excerpt from the show. - July 16 2004.
HTP finished 20th in the listeners' poll run by BBC radio to find the best pop song of all time, which closed in May.
The top 20 were:
1 A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Procul
To see the full list, go to
- 7 June 04
The position is this.
Rob Dee and the Fury Sound, who were so brilliant at the top of the bill on the Friday night at Fury Fest 03, are in action at the Pavilion Theatre, Weymouth, on May 29 - catch them if you can. - 6 May 04.
The Sound Of Fury Fan Club have issued a silver-coloured 21st anniversary mug, which will be available this year only. I don't yet have a picture or any further details of the design.
If you would like one, send £7, which includes post, to Sound Of Fury, PO Box 38, Crugybar, Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire, SA19 8UD.
The latest issue of the fan club magazine, no 21, includes an interview with Rob Dee.
- 20 April 04.
After all this time, look who I finally managed to meet. I have no idea why it's take so long, but although I have seen Billy's brother Albie, and mother Jean, on several occasions, we'd never actually exchanged a word until Good Friday.
That was resolved by my good friends Ray and Jean Shenton.
I told them that Maureen and I would be travelling to Liverpool to see our son Richard on his birthday, so we agreed to meet - and the Shentons brought along Jean and Albie.
We had a very friendly chat over drinks from the machine at the Museum Of Liverpool Life.
In case you're in any doubt, although Albie and I are the same height, and both of us like leather jackets, he's the one who has kept his good looks and his hair. And I can tell you that his singing voice is MUCH better than mine. - 12 April 04.
Ozit tell me that Albie will be forming a short Jason Eddie set of Billy Fury songs in the Merseyside area on July 4. For details, you need to send two first class stamps to PO Box 116, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 5UG.
The projected date for a dinner in Liverpool to honour Billy is Friday October 29 - the week after Fury Fest. Again, for details send two first class stamps to the address above.
Yet another radio poll - the time for the 100 favourite songs, run by BBC Radio 2.
Once again, we are suggesting voting for Halfway To Paradise, to concentrate the votes, especially as this is the one that members of the public are also most likely to vote for.
The page is
16 March 04
After mention on the message board about a brass Billy Fury star set in the pavement in Liverpool, Jean Todd went to investigate. It gives every impression of being carved from stone - so it's definitely not something we can take a shine to.
The address, for anyone visiting the Pool, is Britannia Inn, Riverside Drive, Liverpool, L3 4AZ. - 4 February 04
Many people might not realise that Radio Caroline, which pioneered pirate radio broadcasts in the UK, is still on air - on digital radio and the internet, as wellas through some arrangement with Sky that defeats me.
They have several items of merchandise that might interest folk.
DJ Themes is a new CD, with six hours of music in MP3 format. This will play on a PC, or a DVD player, but not on a normal CD player. For £5.99 post free, you get the theme tunes of more than 100 disc jockeys - Kenny Everett's The Stripper, Johnnie Walker's Because They're Young, etc.
Radio Caroline, The Pirate Years, is a 208 page book that details exactly what it says on the packet - it's £13.95.
Captain's Log is 22 pages detailing the final months in 1991 of the Ross Revenge at sea. £3.25.
Radio Carolien Calling Rock Flashbacks is a 54-track triple CD set of classic rock anthems, for £12.99.
Tempting as all of these are, Radio Caroline is unfortunately stuck in the 60s with its payment arrangements - you can't buy over the internet or even by phone. You have to get your quill pen out, and sign one of the cheque things that people used to use.
Just for the record, this site received 87,014 visitors in 2003.
The site was launched in April, 1998, and although I started recording visits from the start, I didn't check the figures systematically at month-ends until 2000.
The annual figures are -
The total since the launch of the site, at 31 December 2003, was 187,064.
4 January 04
The latest edition of the fan club magazine should now be in everyone's hands, and the improvement in reproduction is very marked. The photographs are at last clean and crisp, and the magazine is printed on nicely-surfaced paper.
Chris Eley updates his discography, and there is a touching reminiscence by Billy's mother, Mrs Jean Wycherley.
Chris reports on the Blackpool Metropole weekend in February and reviews the Last Concert double CD. Rita Smalley reports on the Margate show in March.
Chris provides a very generous review of Fury Fest 03, which, with his permission, I shall be adding to the FF03 page on this site in a week or so. He also reports on the blue plaque unveiling.
Another very creditable production. If you're a member, you'll have a copy. If you're not, please do check out membership details on the fan club page. - 3 December 03.
A very welcome package arrived this week, in the shape of the long-awaited Vince Eager retrospective CD, Yea! Yea! It's Vince Eager.
Many who are familiar with Vince's work have long regretted that his talent, versatility and sheer energy have rarely earned him the level of attention and appreciation that he so richly deserves.
Those of us who were fortunate enough to see him in action with Rockola at Fury Fest left with our admiration for this superb entertainer reinforced.
The 25 tracks on this excellent new CD illustrate Vince's strengths, with a variety of songs covering his 45 years in show business, from the privately-produced tracks of the late 1950s, through the Elvis era, to the astounding No Other Baby of the 21st Century.
This CD, which comes with a 28-page lavishly-illustrated booklet is a masterpiece. It can be ordered through the Merchandise link on the site's front page. - November 15 2003.
I never drew attention to this, for legal reasons, but there was a very valuable site, essoldo57.freewire.co.uk, which had MP3s of all of Billy's single releases. I tracked its access on our This site page (not many folk have found that page!).
I helped the webmaster by providing technical support and I handled e-mail inquiries for him.
Unfortunately, it has now been taken down, without explanation, by the ISP, Freewire. - 12 October 03
MORE NAMES SAFEGUARDED (**Please see explanation at end of this message)
This site has now acquired the domain name billyfury.net. - 8 November 03.
This site has now acquired the domain names soundoffury.com and thesoundoffury.com. By arrangement with the fan club, Sound Of Fury, the club is using soundoffury.com as its e-mail address. Any e-mail addressed to (anyone)@soundoffury.com will be automatically delivered to the club. - 11 October 03.
**(This site's main address is billyfury.com. However, I have a policy of acquiring other addresses as they become available, to protect them from being acquired by anyone who might put them to unsuitable use.
If you enter any of these names into the address bar on your computer, you will be forwarded to billyfury.com.
The full list of domain names now protected is billyfury.com, billyfury.org, billyfury.net, billyfury.co.uk, soundoffury.com, thesoundoffury.com.
Ed Stewart made Billy his artist of the week for his show on BBC Radio 2 from 5pm-7pm on Sunday 14 September. This is a result of the response after Ed mentioned Fury Fest 03.
Ed gave a massive plug for Fury Fest 03 on his BBC Radio 2 programme on 10 August.
Many, many people contacted the show to say how dear they held Billy's memory aft - unfortunately, they didn't buy any tickets!
He mentioned Fury Fest again on August 17. - Updated September 7 2003.
Jean Prosser has resigned from the syndicate that runs the Sound Of Fury fan club, so all post should now be sent to 36 Manbey Grove, Stratford, London E15 1EX. - 17 August 03.
HEART OUT, SIR PETER
Mags Cummings has produced her own version of the Sgt Pepper artwork which the artist, Sir Peter Blake, reworked for Liverpool's campaign to become European City of Culture.
There are quite a few modern villains on here - see how many you can reognise.
To download your own A4 copy, right-click this link, then choose Save As.
- 5 July 03.
The new issue of the Sound Of Fury fan club magazine (number 19) includes excellent reports and lots of photographs of the unveiling of the statue in Liverpool on April 17.
All fan club members should have received their copy by July 7. If it has not arrived, please write to the club at 36 Manbey Grove, London E15 1EX..
An exceptional effort and a really worthwhile piece of memorabilia.
For club membership details, see The Fans.
Unfortunately, in an advertisement, the organisers of an event in New Brighton next month are continuing to claim falsely that Vince Eager will be appearing.
Vince has been asking them for at least two months to stop trying to promote their event by wrongly using his name. If anyone wants to meet, see and hear Vince, he'll see you at Fury Fest. - 29 June 2003
These plaques are being produced by Dave Oram, whom we know better as the singer Dave Michael.
Both are good, simple classic designs.
These plaques are made of cast resin and they are completely weatherproof. Both are drilled and supplied with screws.
If you'd like one, Dave will make one to order for you.
Send a cheque for £10, including post, telling him which design you prefer, to him at 42 Downs Avenue, Whitstable, CT5 1RR or e-mail him at email@example.com.
23 May 03.
Sir Peter Blake has reworked his Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP sleeve to support Liverpool's bid to become European City Of Culture in 2008.
Things are looking up this year, in terms of Liverpool's recognition of Billy Fury.
A report in The Times today reads:"ONE of pop music’s best-known album covers has been recreated to celebrate the talent generated by Liverpool.
Sir Peter Blake, the original artist, has reworked his design for The Beatles’ 1967 Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, replacing the original “magical crowd” with an array of famous Merseysiders.
Among those appearing alongside the Fab Four are the pop stars Atomic Kitten, Elvis Costello and Mel C, the writers Beryl Bainbridge, Willy Russell and Alan Bleasdale, and the actors and entertainers Rex Harrison, Kim Cattrall, Ken Dodd, Cilla Black and Johnny Vegas.
Sporting heroes include the footballers Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney; politicians William Gladstone and Harold Wilson; and broadcasters John Peel and Anne Robinson.
Among the more unlikely names are the film star Halle Berry, the beat poet Allen Ginsberg, and the psychologist Carl Jung. Berry has a Liverpudlian mother, while Ginsberg proclaimed Liverpool “the centre of consciousness for the entire human universe”. He may well have studied Jung, who said that his most significant dream contained the revelation that “Liverpool was the pool of life, the very centre of life force itself”.
The collage is tied to Liverpool’s bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2008. Sir Bob Scott, chief executive of the Liverpool Culture Company, said that it expressed perfectly the diversity of Liverpool’s personality.
“This is an exceptional and stimulating city. It can be charming, humorous and witty, as well as irreverent, opinionated and challenging,” he said. “It is always pioneering and passionate, but never mundane or mediocre.”"
Harry adds: The collage went on show in the Tate Liverpool during the weekend of 24-25 May.
23 May 2003
If you ever wondered how Moya Gleave and her friends celebrate
Billy's birthday, here are a couple of pictures from this year's event.
Ozit issued an interesting double CD at the Liverpool Philharmonic concert on Easter Saturday.
The first CD is a compilation of amateur recordings of Billy's appearance at the Sunnyside, Northampton, on December 2 and 4, 1982. This was his last commercial concert.
It's a surprisingly good recording and well-worth publishing.
The second CD turns out to comprise the same tracks, in the same order, as the ones issued on the Unplugged CD a few years ago.
At the time, an individual said he had been given the tracks by his father, who had bought them at an auction of goods owned by a former member of Billy's management team.
The 17 tracks, eight of which are accompanied only by Billy on the guitar, were produced in an informal manner for the Unplugged CD. It is generally believed that only 16 copies were made, and on the last occasion that I am aware that one changed hands, it made over £60.
I understand that the individual decided not to produce any more copies as he was concerned about outstanding copyright questions. - 21 April 03
Clare Mehmet-Nugent, one of the founders of the Sound Of Fury fan club in 1996, will be giving up in October because of ill-health.
Much to her regret, she will also be unable to attend the unveiling of the statue, as she cannot travel.
Clare is one of those people without whom no organisation can function properly. She handled much of the correspondence for the fan club.
I also appreciated her interest in this site. On the occasions when she could get access to the internet, she read every page (or so it seemed) with interest, then often rang me with helpful suggestions.
Clare's attendance at Mill Hill on 13 April 2003 was probably be her last for some time. - 12 April 03.
On Sunday 13th April at the usual
Billy Fury birthdate gathering at Mill
She will not be at the October 19th gathering.
For about seven years Clare has been a key figure at Mill Hill, distributing information leaflets to do with anything connected with Billy that she could find, and enlisting new members.
At the Ace cafe Bronze Fundraiser she manned a table at the entrance door and consequently missed the show itself, which is typical of Clare.
As with the sad loss of another founder member of the fan club, Mick Hill, the gatherings in the hall will no longer be the same.
Long before the present fan club was
formed, back in the days of The Fury
Unfortunately, after all these years, a long struggle against worsening ill health has made this decision by "our Clare" inevitable. Sadly, because of varying ill health a good friend of Clare's, and great Billy fan, Frank Bull, who did so much for Billy, (the grave photos and surround, the Liverpool lecturn etc) also only gets to Mill Hill on the odd occasion.
Given that it's now been 20 years since Billy's loss (the first gatherings were, for several years, held in Franks flat after the graveside visit), it is inevitable that the ranks are thinning. There is thankfully, young blood, but not nearly enough.
Clare has really been the fan club
workhorse, the first point of contact
It seems even one of her postmen is a Billy Fury fan.
Not for her the "glamour"
of writing magazine articles, public speaking
Hundreds of letters (the nice and unfortunately sometimes the not so nice) have also been dealt with by Clare appropriately. When mail (invariably today it seens) got lost it was Clare who paid, often out of her own pocket,for correspondence to go recorded delivery.
As a friend Clare is intensely loyal and her love for Billy is beyond question. Back in the 60s around London, wherever Billy was, there was Clare, somehow getting into the theatres and TV studios audiences.
Right up to the present day she has
somehow managed to keep going to each Solid Gold etc tour, ensuring that Brian
Hyland got his copy of the Sound of Fury
Thanks to Clare. Always she managed, tactfully but forcefully to push the agenda to other artists, of helping to keep the memory and music of Billy Fury alive.
Clare quite simply loves the whole
50s and 60s music scene, whether US acts, or Marty, Joe etc, and has a zest for
life and a work schedule that would fell
This is a lady who has a great big heart.
Everyone at the Sound of Fury will
miss Clare very much indeed, both
Please take care and keep in touch - life is too short, and friendship, especially in our later years, too precious to lose.
Love and much respect always. - 14
I'M SORRY, I'LL READ THAT AGAIN
I know I should be flattered, and I know I squirrel away material for the site from all sorts of sources, but I never try to pretend that other people's work is my own.
However, I am constantly stumbling across material from this site in the most unexpected places.
Usually I just shake my head and have a cup of tea. Occasionally though, I can't help feeling irritated that after I've spent a lot of time putting a piece together, someone else is simply too bone idle to do any work themselves.
Many people will know, for example, about the CD sleeve notes that are lifted straight from the biography of Billy on this site.
This week, I read a Press release that had been sent to the BBC by Spinning Disc, the London record shop, about the unveiling of the statue.
It was word-for-word the material on this site, with not a mention of its source.
Just for the record, Chris, you are welcome to use my material, but I would have thought that anyone with a sense of honour and courtesy
would acknowledge its source. - 11 March 03.
The latest, 40-page issue of the Sound Of Fury fan club magazine, number 18, has just been issued, with the first-ever colour cover.
There is a very good review of the Without You double CD by Chris Eley, together with Chris's customary diary, and some interesting period features.
The November weekend in Blackpool is give a thorough write-up.
There is also a report of the Ace Café event in October, which raised £3,000 for the bronze fund.
The magazine is essential reading for all Fury fans, and is one of the main benefits of club membership. If you're not yet a member, just click the link to The Fans on the front page. - 7 March 03.
There are two radio polls taking place in which we can vote for Billy Fury:
1 On Radio Merseyside, for the greatest Merseysider. Go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool/features/2003/02/greatest/index.shtml
2 (NOW CLOSED - 23 March 03) On LincsFM, http://www.lincsfm.co.uk/onair/top200form.htm for the best three songs. To avoid splitting votes, I suggest voting for Halfway To Paradise, as that is the one most associated with Billy by the general public, then any two songs by other artists. - 7 March 03.
The unveiling of Billy's £40,000 bronze statue on April 19, 2003, is a triumph for the Sound Of Fury fan club, which has championed the appeal for so many years.
The public face of the appeal has so often been the remarkable Chris Eley, who supported by Linda, has invested untold amounts of time in helping the fund.
His enthusiasm has been an inspiration for the many, many people who have willingly organised events and appeals.
Let's stop and reflect for a moment about £40,000.
This wasn't a grant from the National Lottery, or "funding" cadged from a council.
It's real, hard money from the pockets of working folk, gladly donated.
The club has devoted its efforts out of admiration for Billy, and respect for his family.
Over the days and months and years, we will see many people trying to associate themselves with, and even profit from, this remarkable achievement, but we should always bear in mind that folk are able to pay their respects to one of Liverpool's most loved sons because of the vision of the fan club, and the willingness of so many ordinary people to help.
In the next few weeks, I'll be identifying some of the other people who have done so much. For the moment, let's recognise the work of the other fan club stalwarts, Clare Mehmet-Nugent, Jackie Clark, Maureen Bowden and Jean Prosser, and in the early stages, the late Mick Hill.
Chris and his colleagues who manage the club aren't "personalities", so when the television clips are on our screens, and photographs appear in our newspapers, they probably won't be there.
But if Billy's statue figures in the picture, imagine the club's organisers standing beside it, because without Chris Eley and others, who took forward the vision of Peter and Lynda Keller, there would be no statue.
From all of us, thanks a million. - March 2, 2003.
This won't mean a lot to non-internetty types, but if you're interested, please read on.
The site is hosted on a server run by a firm called Bargainhosts.
We are limited to 3Gb of bandwidth a month, which would be about five times more than anyone would expect a site like ours to need, but we have become rather popular.
Early in February, I thought there was a chance that we would exceed our limit, so I e-mailed Bargainhosts and sent a couple of service requests, to ask what the form was.
They simply didn't reply, and when we reached the limit, they just pulled the plug.
Fortunately, it wasn't a complete disaster, because I had some space on another server, run by Hostonce. I redirected the site there (that's why I kept begging everyone to log on via billyfury.org, because then you will be automatically diverted) and began updating the pages as Hostonce.
Some links didn't work, but that was better than being out of touch altogether.
Then Hostonce, which was supposed to allow unlimited space, suddenly stopped allowing me to upload.
It seems to be sorted now (4pm, February 28) and I expect Bargainhosts to switch us back on tomorrow, when the new month starts.
I still haven't heard from them, however, and I am inclined to switch the entire site elsewhere.
Bargainhost are listed as a recommended web presence provider by Microsoft, which says quite a lot about Microsoft. My only consolation is that search engines will scan this page and people searching for "Bargainhost" will find the link and learn how useless they are.
However, that's just me being vindictive.
As far as site visitors are concerned, the only message is: PLEASE stick with the address www.billyfury.org and we'll never be out of touch for very long. - 28 February 03.
Back in December, 1999, someone registered billyfury.com as a Christmas present for a man in California.
Those who are familiar with the internet will know that .com is a top-level domain. If someone ever wants to guess an address, they'll just put .com on the end.
I was very concerned that other addresses would be lost for ever in the same way, so I immediately registered billyfury.co.uk to make sure it was safe. Later, I also registered billyfury.org, which is the main address that the site uses now.
billyfury.com was never used for any good purpose. A single page just languished on the internet. I e-mailed the owner twice, asking him to name a price, but I received no reply.
In 2001, the owner tried to auction it, but for some reason, he stated that he would sell it only to an American buyer. Fortunately, no one met the reserve price.
In December 2001, the registration of billyfury.com expired, but it was re-registered during the period of grace allowed. This time, even the single page disappeared, and anyone trying www.billyfury.com simply saw a general holding site.
Today, I tried one of my frequent checks with the registration agents, and I found that the registration of billyfury.com had lapsed.
I now own it. Anyone typing in www.billyfury.com now arrives at our site.
For the first time, the three main addresses, from the point of view of a British site, billyfury.com, billyfury.org and billyfury.co.uk, are within our control.
I've been doing my best to get some attention on national radio for the weekend of 25-26 January.
Although the fans' favourite single (whenever we've held a vote on the site) is Maybe Tomorrow, that was recorded in the 1950s, so I have been e-mailing Brian Matthew three times a week for two months, asking him to play In Thoughts Of You (Billy's Mum's favourite) on Sounds Of The Sixties on Radio 2 on 25 January.
Brian didn't reply when I asked him to contribute his thoughts to the sleeve notes of Without You, and nor have I had an acknowledgement for this request. We shall just have to see.
I though I might make some progress with Ed Stewart, whose Sunday show often mentions anniversaries, but his producer has e-mailed me to say that they definitely won't be playing a Billy Fury record, or mentioning the anniversary.
21 January 03
There's a fair bit of activity on BBC local radio at the end of January, with Billy Fury tributes.
Mike Adams is presenting a two hour show from 7pm to 9pm on Friday, January 31, on BBC Radio Stoke, BBC Radio Hereford and Worcs and BBC Radio Shropshire, and BBC Radio Lincolnshire is also running a show that night. Radio Nottingham has a segment from 7.10pm the following Friday.
21 January 03
A very happy new year to all of my friends out there - most of whom I've never met.
...the Royal Mail. I am so cheesed off that I just had to get it off my chest.
13 December 02
One version of Halfway To Paradise, supplied by Alan Coombe, on the Paradise Place page has always stated that it is by a mystery singer.
At last, the mystery has been solved by Garry Boden.
He writes: "It is by Vince Hill (before he had his nose done).
"It was, I believe, recorded from the radio from a programme called Parade Of The Pops, which was on the Light Programme (I think) on Wednesday lunchtimes.
"It featured hits of the day by performers such as Vince Hill and Karl Denver, with guest artists such as Mark Wynter, Ken Dodd, Helen Shapiro and Clinton Ford.
"This would put the radio recording somewhere about June 1961. How can I be so sure? I had the same recording on an old reel-to-reel tape recorder which my father used to record the programme on, as well as the Joe Loss show later in the week."
So there - thanks Garry. Now if someone could just tell us who is singing Peggy Sue on the Ozit CD....
13 December 02
I have sent site Christmas cards for the past two years, but with the rapid growth of my circle of friends on the site, I thought that this year, I would provide the design as a download, so that anyone could print and use it.
4 December 2002
THEY WANT YOUR BLOOD!
More than 40 people over the years have told me that they have either begun giving blood, or have started going regularly again, because of the (fairly low-key) promotion on this site.
I've added one of the National Blood Service's Christmas logos to the front page for December.
John Llloyd will give two Billy Fury singles of his choice to each of the first four people to volunteer.
Go on - save a life!
2 December 02
The most-heavily accessed media files on the site in October were:
1 The brilliant new Saturday Club recording. (No surprise
COLLETTE IT IS! I solved one mystery today. A certain song appears variously as "Colette" and "Collette" on different records. For the sake of consistency, I adopted the conventional spelling of "Colette".
However, this morning, I received copyright approval for the tracks on the Memorial Album, and I learned that the song was registered as "Collette".
Another song whose title is almost always given wrongly is Lost Without You. (There's no "I'm" at the beginning.)
Just for the record, the correct forms of two others, which sometimes appear incorrectly, are...
A Wondrous Place
I have to tell you that in order to make some progress, I sent the attributions for the CD to the printer before I received the notice from the copyright people, so quite a few of the music publisher details are wrong. That's something else that will be different in the second edition!
26 November 02
FAVOURITE TRACKS: The most-watched/listened-to
media files in August were:
FAREWELL, RADIO BILLY: If you haven't heard the live internet radio broadcast that this site has been running on Live 365 for the past couple of years, please take the chance of doing so.
It features every Billy Fury A-side, plus quite a selection of interesting numbers by his contemporaries.
Unfortunately, Live 365 are going to start charging $5 a month to anyone who want to stay on air, and I can't justify taking on another expense, so they will pull the plug in the next week or so..
The excellent Billy Fury introduction that Chris Eley has compiled provides a good substitute for people who are new to Billy, and if another opportunity arises to provide live radio - without the expense - I'll take it. - 29 July 02
MASTERLY, CHRIS: Chris Eley, at my request, has compiled an introduction in music and words to the work of Billy Fury.
The intention was to provide a rounded picture of Billy's talents to newcomers from around the world, but I think everyone will find this a real pleasure.
You'll find it here. - 18 July 02
It's a very nicely-produced sheet that supposedly gives you a guided tour around locations in the city that are associated with popular music in the city. In fact, it turns out to be obsessively Beatles-oriented, which is one topic that hardly needs further coverage.
Although there is a photograph of Billy on the map, there's not a single mention of him in the text. It seems that the University Of Liverpool's Institute Of Popular Music feels that Billy's contribution to the city's musical heritage is not worthy of note; as we have discover so often in the past, Billy's continuing popularity among members of the public is not translated into official recognition. - 7 July 02.
(I have sent an e-mail of these comments to the Institute Of Popular Music, and invited their observations.)
PERSUADED: I've had to do a lot of work sorting out the site, with its changes of home, and while I've been doing that, I've been rediscovering and re-enjoying some corners that I'd (almost) forgotten about. I've also had to check that sound and video files are still linked properly. I've probably missed some, so if you find any, please let me know. - 4 July 02.
RADIO FURY: For the past year or so, this site has been running a three hour internet radio show on Radio 365. It played all of Billy's A-sides, plus some interesting tracks by other artists. Radio 365 have just advised me that they intend to start charging for the service. I run this site out of my own pocket, and I've decided that I shall have to let the radio station lapse. I can't help thinking that there must be another way of providing live streaming audio that involves an investment of time, rather than expense. When I find it, Radio Fury will be back on the air. - 3 July 02.
Of particular interest to Fury fans is the third programme, on Dickie Pride, which is scheduled for July 16.
This will include home movie film, and some interesting stories of the close friendship between the two.
The full schedule of programmes is:
27 June 02
GARRY SLADE CD: I had the pleasure of seeing Garry in action at the Carousel Hotel once, and I learned for myself that the people who had told me about his talents certainly hadn't been exaggerating. Garry is a big guy with a thumping voice that's just made for rock 'n' roll.
Garry has been kind enough to send me two of his CDs, a superb one that covers 23 Billy Fury standards, and another, Something For Everyone, which was a revelation to me.
There's a lot more to Garry Slade than rock 'n' roll, I discovered. The Billy Fury influence is still there, with a tribute medley, and sensitive versions of Forget Him and Wondrous Place.
Garry clearly set out to display his versatility, and it's paid off, with a collection of classics, ranging from a majestic In The Ghetto to a very Elvis The Mostest Girl. There are also one or two of those songs that bring an instinctive, nostalgic smile to most faces as soon as the intro starts - I'm typing in time to Earth Angel at the moment!
This is one CD that will be on my regular playlist.
Garry Slade is a very talented singer with an excellent voice and I look forward to catching his full set one day. - 22 June 02
RADIO MUSIC ARCHIVED: Excellent news from Radio 2 is that their major music programmes will remain available on the internet for a week after broadcast. This means, for example, that the two-hour Sounds Of The Sixties show on Saturday mornings will be accessible at any time in the week. Click here to listen to the previous Saturday's show. (Also permanent available from the Sounds and Radio pages.) - 18 June 02.
IN THE BAG: Di and Ann Vickers have sent me a photograph of the shopping bags they are selling in aid of the Bronze Fund. They measure 15" * 17" and are made of cotton calico, so there'll be plenty of wear in them. The price, including post, is £5. One has this site's logo and the other has another classic image of Billy. To order one (or more) e-mail Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone her on 0116 2563989. - 18 JUNE 02.
RADIO 2 VOTE: Radio 2 listeners were invited to choose their favourite sonf from the past 50 years, to mark the Queen's golden jubilee. The number 1 was Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, and Halfway To Paradise was placed at number 30. As I always say, the problem with democracy is that everyone gets a vote. Full details. - 2 JUNE 02
Bizarrely, the BBC has excluded HTP from its compilation CD. - 14 JUNE 02
FAN CLUB MAGAZINE: Issue 16 of the fan club magazine has just arrived, with an interesting mix of period music paper features and current updates. There are reminiscences by Bob Paskins of the New Tornados, Chris Eley's authoritative notes, and sweatshirt and LP offers. Di and Ann Vickers have also produced calico shopping bags with images of Billy, at £5 including post. One of the images is of this site's logo...but the magazine editor forgot to mention that. If you're not already a fan club member, click here for details and please do join. - 26 May 02
SOTS: Just a few weeks after Brian Matthew announced that Billy was by far the most requested artist on Radio 2's Sounds Of The Sixties show, he has introduced a new feature in which every hit of two less popular artists (Elvis and Cliff) will be played. I don't want to sound obsessive, but that seems perverse to me. - 26 May 02
Yesterday, a copy of the programme, the disc, and four tickets sold on Ebay for £399.89. That's three hundred and ninety-nine pounds and eighty-nine pence. That's eleven pence short of four hundred pounds.
Does memorabilia have this degree of personal value, or is it a worthwhile investment? This particular item had no direct connection with Billy. He didn't wear it or sign it, for example. What gives this item its particular value? If you owned it, how highly would you value it, and how would you assess that value?
I would be interested in comments on the message board. - 6 May 2002.
All proceeds from the sale are being given to the Bronze Fund.
At present, there are no spare copies, but I have been asked to help by compiling a list of people who would be interested in buying a copy if more were produced. The price would be £10 plus postage.
To register your interest, please send an e-mail to email@example.com
The track list is: Sweet Little 16, I Will, Halfway To Paradise, Like I've Never Been Gone, That's All Right Mama, A Thousand Stars, Johnny B Goode, I'll Never Find Another You, It's Only Make-Believe and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.- 6 May 2002
I went quite a long way at the weekend, braving stormy seas to face the unknown hazards of the Isle of Wight. I was wonderfully received and hosted by the charming Pauline Swindells and her husband Henry.
The weekend was specially chosen so that I could finally see my friend Johnny Storme on stage in Newport on Saturday. What a superb night it was.
Until Saturday, I knew Johnny's work only from the CDs he has so kindly sent to me. My main interest was in seeing him in action, but the night provided a very big bonus as I watched a stunning performance by the superb rock and roll group, The Invaders, who showcase Johnny.
In the engine room, John Bedford on bass and Dave Hartley on drums/vocals are real craftsmen.
I have to make particular mention, though, of Brian Wills, as I know I shall rarely see a more accomplished lead guitarist on the semi-pro scene. He brings the instrument alive with a relaxed confidence that gives The Invaders their edge. This, I have to remark, is while he doubling up as the group's rhythm section.
Brian also has a terrific, belting rock and roll voice with lots of depth and drive.
And then we come to Johnny Storme. What a guy. It's clear why The Invaders welcomed him, as he provides a perfect focus for the group, and has a voice whose subtlety and pitch is an excellent complement to Brian's.
Johnny has a real presence on stage, tempering the band's rock and roll energy with a touch of theatre.
Of course, this is the Billy Fury website, and I was there because I knew Johnny had many of Billy's numbers in his repertoire. Whether he was handling ballads or rockers, he was exceptional.
What made it really special, however, was that Johnny sang as if he really cared.
Johnny Storme and The Invaders? I'd go a long way to see them again. - 8 April 2002.
Reading Helen Shapiro's autobiography, Walking Back To Happiness, this week, I learned that she was paid £4,000 for two days' work, to record her two songs for Play It Cool. In 2002, that equates to more than £50,000.
Helen points out that she had to pay more than 37% of her income to agents, but she cleared £800 a week (£10,000 in 2002 terms) while on tour. That was for a 14-year-old schoolgirl, whose mass appeal was over in two years.
Compare this with Billy's situation. He was simply receiving wages from Larry Parnes, who even failed in his obligations to pay Billy's income tax, resulting in Billy's bankruptcy.
There's a link to the excerpt from the book on the The Films page. - 2 April 02.
This shirt, said to have been part of Billy's wardrobe, fetched just over £100 at auction on Ebay today. Its authenticity, claimed the seller (a shop, rather than an individual), was verified by the "president of the UK Billy Fury fan club". That turned out to be our old friend Chris Eley, the country's most authoritative writer on all things Billy. He was very surprised when I told him he had been elevated to the presidency. The shirt probably dates from the 1970s.It's a "Mr Harry Limited Edition". No, I wasn't tempted! - 6 March 02.
I hear from Paul Pierrot, producer of the Juke Box Heroes series for the BBC, that the new programme on Dickie Pride will include newly-found tape of Billy's first appearance on Saturday Club, singing Margo and Maybe Tomorrow.
I heard a little later, from another source, that a CD featuring Billy and The Tornados on Radio Luxembourg should be expected. - 5 March 02.
People use all sorts of statistics to try to prove that an extraordinary number of people visit their web sites. The number of visitors has never been an issue with me, but I can't help mentioning that last month, for the first time, an average of more than 100 different people visited this site each day. The fact that a growing number of people choose to look at a site devoted to a singer who has not been with us for so many years is a real tribute to Billy's lasting appeal. - 1 March 02.
Edition 15 of the Sound Of Fury fan club magazine has just been delivered. There are features on the statue, the Billy-Elvis connection (by Chris Eley), the Carousel weekend in Blackpool in November 2001, and Albie's concert in Kingston in September 2001. There are also the usual period clippings. If you're not already a member of the club, joining is an excellent investment. Click here for details. - 27 February 02
I've just heard that my good friend Tony Harte is staging a very interesting concert at the Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis, on April 5 (which a propos of nothing, happens to be Joe Meek's birthday). Tony will be performing his superb Billy Fury set, and also on the bill are Tommy Bruce, Wee Willie Harris, Billie (Tell Him) Davis, Jet Harris and Clem Cattini of the Tornados. Must be good! Tickets are £10.50 or £9.50 for concessions, and the box office number is 01243 862020. - 18 February 02.
Paul Pierrot, producer of the superb Juke Box Heroes programmes on the BBC, tells me that there is to be another series. Vince Eager is interviewed for a programme on Dickie Pride, and I'm told there will be some new photographs. Other programmes will feature John Leyton, Screaming Lord Sutch, Ian Dury's early days with the Kilburns, Badfinger, and Petula Clark in the 50's I do hope the BBC schedule them for a more sensible time than the last series, which aired after midnight. - 18 February 02.
I've been in Seattle for the past week. On the first night, I tried the television in the hotel room and after about five minutes, I hit the jackpot. The programme was in the middle of the recording of a concert, in which 1960s singers did just one number, then left Little Richard was superb, then there were a few lesser-known performers, and then... The compère introduced Kathy Young And The Innocents, and they performed their American hit version of A Thousand Stars. It was dire, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. - 18 February 02.
PS Thanks for keeping everyone in order, Pauline.
A Billy Fury tribute show will be broadcast on three BBC local radio stations on Friday February 1.
It will run from 7.05pm on BBC Hereford and Worcester, Stoke and Shropshire. Albie has been asked to appear, and Vince Eager will be on after 8pm.
For those not too far away, frequencies include: Medium wave 783 and 1503, FM 94.6, 96.0, 95.0, 94.7, 104.1, and 104.6. Even if you think you're too distant, it's worth giving it a go, especially if you have an external aerial. - 28 January 02.
Please note that my e-mail address is now firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail.com have started to charge for mail forwarding, so I'm gradually working my way through e-mail links on the site.
There could be some problems with broken links from February onwards, which I shall resolve as quickly as possible after they are identified, because of policy changes by NTL, who host 30Mb of the site's files.
My part-time business, Peaksoft, has always met some of the site's incidental expenses, so I now use the site's logo on my Ebay sales, identifying Peaksoft as official sponsor of billyfury.co.uk
Finally, someone who visited the site on 17 January was the 50,000th person to do so. - 18 January 2002.
I've decided to adopt a new policy with the Calendar page. In the past, I have spent ages typing in dates, but in future, I shall keep it up to date with specific Billy Fury dates, and events that I feel I should mention, but I'll provide links to the listings of sites dedicated to tours and artists such as Joe Brown and Marty Wilde. That's not set up yet! - 3 January 2002.
I'm delighted the a major gap has been filled by the appearance of an excellent, very professional web site for Marty Wilde. Do visit it! - 3 January 2002.
And a happy new year to everyone. We had just over 30,300 visitors to the site in 2001, which averages at about 80 people a day. For those who are interested, it actually varies between about 70 and 100. Last year, we had about twice as many visitors as in 2000, but the number has now settled down. As you might expect, I'm finding less new material to add to the site, so maybe we've reached a peak. I still think it's pretty extraordinary that every day, 80 people visit a site dedicated to a singer who was very little known outside his home country, and who hasn't been around for almost 20 years. - 1 January 2002.
Thanks to Geoff Howlett, I shall upload a few Blackpool photographs tomorrow. And thanks for the postcard, Pauline. Geoff's let me have a few notes about Blackpool - does anyone else have a contribution to make? - 12 November 01.
Sorry about the pop-up ads that now appear from time to time. As those of you who understand these things will have noted, I use various free server space providers to host these pages, as otherwise I would have to dig very deep into my pocket. One of those providers has now introduced pop-up ads, which I find as irritating as everyone else, but it's not unreasonable that they should try to make a few bob. - 11 November 01
II can't get over the fact that more than 300 people have already voted in the Top 10 poll (if YOU haven't, please see the front page). James Beeby's choice of Am I Blue for the featured song is a real treat, isn't it? - 5 November 01.
Through this site, I have made a very good friend called Terry
Wilson, who lives in Canada. Terry runs the tribute web site for Ral
Donner, the late singer who was a soundalike for Elvis Wotsisname (the
Americans' answer to Billy Fury).
I received a five-track studio-recorded CD from the singer I've got to become accustomed to calling Johnny Storme today (actually J--n H----------n). Some very nice material on it, which I'll try to feature fairly soon. I also received rather a rude invitation to the 50th birthday party of tribute singer Tony Harte in April of next year. No, I'm not saying when and where because I don't want to get the blame for gatecrashers. I'm still waiting for the minidisc so that I can feature you on the site, Tony. - 3 October 01.
Am I the only person who can't resist singing the wrong words to songs? The real problem is that once you start, you can't break the habit. My worst one is singing: "A thousand sties in your eyes make me realise..." - 3 October 01.
When Alan Coombe tipped me off about a fault on the site (I'm
very lucky that not much gets past Alan) I discovered that for some reason, one
particular server I was using was stripping everything from one uploaded file.
When I twigged what was happening, I shifted it to another server, although I
still don't know what caused the problem.
Ron Tilden of Georgia, USA, has kindly supplied a midi file and the words to Last Night Was Made For Love. I often receive requests for song words, and I am happy to post them if someone else takes the trouble to transcribe them. The Resources page is often overlooked, and I think there's some worthwhile material on there. If you ever have dinner at the Sundial Restaurant in the Westin Peachtree in Atlanta, by the way, Ron, please ask them if they've found my favourite tweed cap yet. - 25 September 01.
Among the Radio Luxembourg tracks is a nice version of Hello Mary Lou by Joe Brown and a stupendous Rip It Up by Georgie Fame when they guested on Billy's show. I'll have to find some way of giving those a hearing - maybe on the live radio site when I get back to working on that. There's a dynamite version of Great Balls Of Fire by an unidentified guest. Some of Billy's songs are just too distorted to be reproduced (including what sounds like a brilliant Have I Told You Lately That I Love You), and some I have decided not to post because of demands on server space. At present, that means there's no room for a sequence of Evergreen Tree, This Way and Just Because. - 24 September 01.
John Hetherington has recorded an excellent version of I Must Be Dreaming, which I hope I might put on the live radio site. - 21 September 01.
I heard tonight from Paul Deacon, webmaster of The Legend on Tour website. The band's lead singer, Bob Paskins, backed Billy on stage in the 1970s and three of his photographs are reproduced on the site. I hope that Bob will be able to share some reminiscences with me some time. - 21 September 01.
This evening, I was using a fairly expensive sound system to listen once again to Ingar Knudtsen's wonderful tape of Billy's shows on Radio Luxembourg. Now as you will know from the examples on this site, these are not the highest of fi. In one respect I'm a little frustrated, because here are tracks of Billy singing that are available nowhere else and there will never be a crystal-clear recording. In another, it's a treat, because all of a sudden, I'm 13 again, and Luxembourg is whooshing in and fading out. So I sat there, umpety-pounds sound system playing a whooshy-fady tape, when Chills And Fever came on and I thought: "I've got to share this!" So I grabbed the tape, plonked myself down in front of umpety-umpety hundreds of pounds' worth of computer gear to spend quite a long time trying to make the best of a whooshy-fady song and I suddenly thought: "People must think I'm a screwball." Then I realised that they'll think that you're all screwballs as well, and I decided that if I am a screwball, I'm a screwball in the right company. - 19 September 01.
I note that the open market price of the Billy Fury Sings A Buddy Holly Song CD seems to have settled down at £11.99 (Amazon and one or two other retailers) from Ozit's launch price of £14. - 18 September 01.
A lady called Donna is auctioning a unique Billy Fury tapestry on Ebay. The starting price is about £75. She made the pattern and carried out all of the work herself and she feels that on the open market, it ought to be worth about £150. Check it out by clicking this link! - 18 September 01.
Jess Conrad, who is about to start a national tour with Craig Douglas, flew about five miles as a passenger in a microlight on Sunday, so that he could make a spectacular arrival for a celebrity golf tournament in Lincolnshire. I note that the "new material" on Jess's new K-Tel album is actually a spoken "tribute to the kings and queens of rock and roll". - 3 September 01.
A near mint copy of The Sound Of Fury 10-inch LP sold on Ebay last week for only about £50 - about half the anticipated price. It was even a 1960 pressing. The only reason for the bargain sale, as far as I can see, is that it was in Germany and priced in DM, which may have made many people reluctant to bid. - 3 September 01.
Paul Pierrot, who produced the superb Juke Box Heroes series for television, has a new series planned. If you would like first class copies of any of the first series (Marty Wilde/Terry Dene/Johnny Kidd/Alma Cogan/Vince Taylor/Small Faces) or of the Billy Fury Omnibus programme, Paul's company will supply ones made from the master tapes for £12 each. E-mail them at email@example.com. - 1 September 01.
If you saw the brilliant feature on Vince Taylor on BBC1, you may well like to hear more of Vince's music. Jacklyn Music have released a CD, mainly intended for the French market, which features Vince live at the Paris Olympia. It costs £12.50 including post from 270 Carlton Road, Worksop, S81 7LQ. I would really like to have major feature on Vince on this site. Would anyone like to research/write it? - 1 September 01.
Chris Eley, the author of the superb Rare And Unreleased feature on this site, has written the new programme notes for Colin Gold's show. Vince Eager, who was Billy's flatmate for a year, tells me he has recorded the voice-over. - 31 August 01.