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Billy Fury

Born Ronald Wycherley on 17th April 1940 in Liverpool. When only 6 years old he contracted the first of several bouts of rheumatic fever which weakened his heart. He showed an early musical talent, forming the Formby Skiffle Group in 1956.

He went into a local recording booth and recorded a number of tracks which he sent to impresario Larry Parnes in 1958. Parnes, after hearing him sing and play, signed him up to sing on his tours and Ron Wycherley become Billy Fury.

In March 1960 'Collette' reached #9 in the hit parade, then 'Half Way to Paradise' reached #3 in May 1961 and that really established him as a Top Ten artiste.

Billy kept busy writing, singing and recording, but the heart disease that had started with his infant rheumatic fever was beginning to catch up with him. From the mid 60s onward he became increasingly ill and in 1970 and 1971 needed two major heart operations. In 1976 he needed another major operation and in 1982 collapsed at his farm in Wales and only just pulled through.

He moved to St John's Wood in London but in January 1983, when he was preparing for a new national tour, he was found unconscious in bed and despite being rushed to hospital was pronounced dead at 12.10pm on January 28, 1983. A very sad loss indeed to the British entertainment scene.

Read 2579 times Last modified on Friday, 07 October 2016 13:08