Billy Fury became an overnight sensation in the 1950s and The Sound of Fury, a landmark album in British Rock & Roll history. This new film recounts the story of Billy Fury and the birth of British popular music. Although it may have been inspired by Elvis and American R&B artists, Britain produced its own Rock and Roll heroes with the unique sound of Billy Fury, Marty Wilde, Cliff Richard, Joe Brown and many more great artists.Written by
Born Ronald Wycherley in 1940, Billy Fury came from a modest working class background in Liverpool, but soon displayed a talent for musicianship that got him noticed. He auditioned for manager Larry Parnes at a young age, and was immediately signed up to join other young singers in the stable, including Marty Wilde, Joe Brown, and Vince Eager.
At the outset it seemed as if Fury would be providing songs for other artists; but once Parnes had heard him perform, he realized that he had a new young talent on his hands. In the late Fifties and early Sixties Fury was catapulted to stardom with over twenty hit singles to his credit plus innumerable television appearances.
Fury's star waned as rapidly as it had risen. By the mid-Sixties he was yesterday's singer, and remained in comparative obscurity until he was asked to perform in David Puttnam's THAT'LL BE THE DAY (1973). Thereafter he made sporadic appearances on television and in theaters until his early death at the age of 53.
Alan Byron's documentary unearthed plenty of archival material of Fury's performances, as well as interviews with the singer. Several of his contemporaries, including Eager, offered their reminiscences. Yet the piece as a whole remained curiously uninformative about Fury's personality; apart from learning about the difference between his on- and offstage personae, and his fondness for animals, we learned little about him. There were some notable absentees from the roster of people reminiscing about the era - for example, Marty Wilde or Tommy Steele, both of whom are very much alive at the time of writing.
The program was also uncertain about its history. We learned a lot about the impact of rock 'n roll on Fifties British culture, but unless you knew something about the period, you'd have imagined that Bill Haley and Billy Fury were contemporaries, which is certainly not the case historically.
The usual cohort of tele-celebs were wheeled on to contribute - Len Goodman, Mark Kermode, and an Irish rockabilly singer Imelda May. They did not offer much in the way of analysis, but then perhaps they were not expected to.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this