In the 1960s Billy Fury had more hit singles than the Beatles and sold more singles for Decca Records than the Rolling Stones.
Now, 33 years after Billy’s untimely death, his own band remember him with Halfway To Paradise - The Billy Fury Story, which is being staged at Hunstanton’s Princess Theatre on Sunday, July 3.
Now in its 20th year and featuring the uncanny voice of Colin Gold as Fury, the original Fury’s Tornados remember their old friend and boss by performing live his 29 magical hits such as I Will, Last Night Was Made For Love, Wondrous Place and ,of course, Halfway To Paradise.
Billy died on January 28, 1983, aged just 42 - the same age as Elvis, having suffered ill health throughout his life.
Born in Liverpool, he was discovered by pop manager Larry Parnes, who changed his name from Ronald Wycherly to Billy Fury and guided him on the road to stardom in the early 1960s.
This would all have been a fairy tale had it not been for an illness that was to follow him throughout his life – and ultimately claim him; rheumatic fever had left him with a weak heart.
The Fury’s came into Billy’s life in 1970 when it had been four years since his last major hit, but Billy was still a big star and huge audiences in the new cabaret venues that were emerging all over the UK.
It was during this period in 1972 that Billy was to make his final film. A cameo appearance as Stormy Tempest in the David Essex / Ringo Starr classic That’ll Be The Day.
Fury’s Tornados continued to back Billy until his retirement through ill health in 1976. The band members are Chris Raynor (lead guitar, vocals); Charlie Elston (keyboard, vocals); John Raynor (drums, vocals); Graham Wyvill (bass, vocals).
The Hunstanton show on July 3 starts at 7.30pm; tickets are from £14.50 to £20, call the box office on 01485 532252 or visit www.princesshunstanton.co.uk