Picturegoer magazine reported in 1959....
Many teenage girls work themselves into a state of frenzy when watching Fury's action on stage.
The cause is one number in Fury's act - an Elvis Presley original called Mean Woman Blues.
Fury twists his mouth into a vicious shape and glares into the spotlight. He looks defiant.
Slowly, to the throb of guitars, he sings the opening bars. Then with deliberate calculation, he winds his left leg around the microphone, tilts it back, softly caresses the base with his right hand.
He has developed his technique, for he knows the exact moment to leap back from the microphone. His next move increases the tension among the female element of the audience.
With hunched shoulders and agonised expression he undoes the zip of his yellow jacket. Down, down it comes, while the screams increase in volume. With one swift movement, he casts the jacket aside, grabs hold of the microphone.
His previous exhibition seems tame in the light of what follows. Over goes the microphone until it lies full-length on the stage - with Fury on top of it.
In October, he set off on a tour of Ireland, and on the 30th, his act was stopped halfway by the management of the Theatre Royal, Dublin.
The manager said....
Billy's gestures - he caresses the microphone and lays down on stage - were objectionable.
His act was too suggestive. Twice during the week's engagement, he started what I considered to be suggestive gyrations, so I fired him.
Billy told the Press....
They dug me in Ulster, but brother, when I got to the South, I was in dead trouble.
Just before I went on one night, the manager came round and told me that he'd had complaints that my act was indecent.
I told him that I didn't know what he meant by indecent.
'It's far too sexy - you'll have to stop that sort of thing,' he said.
I tried to explain that when you sing rock, you've just got to rock, just got to move with the beat.
Billy's next date was in Leeds. The manager had read about the events in Ireland,and he told Billy that he would have to tone down his act. When Billy left the stage after the first night, the manager told him that if he gave a similar performance, he would call the police.
Billy's parents were troubled by the publicity and felt this did not sound like the Ron they knew and loved. (There are some reports that the act had, in fact, been carefully choreographed by Jack Good at Larry Parnes' request.)
Mr Wycherley telephoned Billy and asked him to go home immediately. Billy had a long talk with his father and performed all of his numbers in front of him. After a family discussion, it was agreed that changes would be made.
In April, 1960, Billy said....
I'm taking my dad's advice. I'm cleaning up my act.
As those who saw Billy perform will know, he remained one of the most dynamic and exciting stage performers in the country.
Billy developed a liking for fast cars and motorcycles.
He said in 1960: "I never want to be passed in a car, and neither do a lot of other drivers.They seem to dare me to overtake them when I try to pass. I get a kick out of that sometimes. I might catch up with a car on a bend. My sense tells me to slow down, but my foot won't come off the accelerator. The tension builds up - will I be able to make it? That's when I capture the scared feeling."
His first car was a powder blue £1,200 MG Sports, on which he paid for £400-worth of modifications, but he eventually tired of it.
He decided he wanted an E-Type Jaguar or an Aston Martin, but the best insurance quotation he could get was for a premium of £500 a year, with an excess of £150. Larry Parnes was not known for his generosity with his singers, and Billy decided to settle for a Humber Super Snipe.
Billy is on the record in several publications stating that his favourite food is bacon, sausage and egg, and chopped liver and chips.However, a Radio Luxembourg annual once made the unlikely claim that he had submitted this recipe.
Ingredients: One pound of mushrooms (1.25 inches in diameter), two tablespoons of butter, two tablespoons of finely-chopped onion, a third of a cup of finely-chopped parsley, a third of a cup of lemon juice, half a teaspoon of sale, two cups of fine, soft breadcrumbs, half a cup of milk.
Wash, dry and peel the mushrooms. Remove the stems and chop them very finely. Place the stems in a heavy skillet with the butter, chopped onion and two-thirds of the parsley. Sauté until tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, salt and bread crumbs. Stuff the mushroom caps with this mixture and place them in a shallow tray or baking dishes. Pour milk around the caps to a depth of an eighth of an inch and cover with foil. Bake in an oven, pre-heated to 400ºF, for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and keep hot in a slow oven until needed. Sprinkle with remaining parsley when served.
Somehow, I just can't imagine Billy in the kitchen with his pinny on, finely chopping mushroom stalks.
In summer, 1955, Billy left his secondary modern school. He often referred to his time there as the unhappiest of his young life.
Several years later, he recalled his last day.
"There were about five minutes to go before the final bell. I couldn't stand it. I put my feet up on the desk and lit a cigarette. The teacher told me to put it out - said school wasn't over yet.
"I just laughed. 'Go on, teach, make me,' I said.
"With only a minute to go before the end of school, he caned me. He thrashed me six times on my hand. WIth each stroke, I laughed louder, until the bell rang as he brought the cane down for the sixth time. Then I was free.
"I hated school. It was like being in jail. Now I was being released, a free man. I went wild, running out of school shouting: 'I'm free, I'm free, I'm free!
"They told me at school: 'You'll achieve nothing. You'll come to a bad end, so I went back there in my car just to show them.
"They seemed different somehow - more human than I thought. But I showed them the car."
THE QUIET IDOL
"I like to sit by myself without anyone talking to me, just thinking. I don't make friends easily because of that. Most people are loud-mouthed, all talk - they don't see what's going on," Billy said in 1960.
Royston Ellis wrote at the time, in The Big Beat Scene:
He shows his individuality as a beat star by really detesting recognition. He cannot abide being recognised, pointed at,and spoken to by complete strangers.
His efforts to avoid being recognised and treated as a freak lead him to slink past people, keeping entirely to himself.
Of all the singers connected with the business, Fury is probably the one who has changed least since the dayhe started...He has, however, become considerably dazed during his months as an idol.
Paul Powell writes: Ron was my second cousin. I recall he had a moped/ small motorbike and I had one of those tin pedal cars that you sit in. He would "push" me along the pavement outside my auntie's house by driving the moped with the front wheel on the back of the tin seat in the pedal car. He was areal tearaway then!
The small recording studio where he went in Kensigton was near where I lived and I recall it well, black painted letters (cut out of wood?) and white faded background.
Many years later - around 1970 - I was in the Sportsman pub at the Gyratory in central Liverpool. This pub had amateur singers on the microphone during Sunday lunchtime and most were good, as you expect from Liverpool. Billy got up and did Halfway To Paradise - just the one number. It brought the bloody house down. Christ, he was brilliant.
The sad part was that very few knew who he was!