Tornados bring Fury to town

Thirty years after his untimely death, the legend of Britain’s answer to Elvis, Billy Fury, lives on through a show that is coming to Mansfield’s Palace Theatre next month.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 27th January 2014, 8:55 am

Halfway to Paradise - The Billy Fury Story, comes to town on Saturday 8th February and features the original members of Billy’s band - Fury’s Tornados.

The band is made up of Nottingham-born musicians John Raynor on drums, Chris Raynor (no relation) on guitar and Charlie Elston on piano, with Graham Wyvill on bass and Colin Gold, performing Billy’s vocals.

After suffering from heart problems throughout his life, Billy sadly died of a heart attack in 1983 aged just 42.

He had had an amazingly successful career, spending an incredible 281 weeks on the charts.

He rejected The Beatles as a backing band and during the 60s sold more singles for Decca than the Rolling Stones.

His band members thought that following Billy’s death they would never get to play his wonderful rock hits again and had gone their separate ways.

But that all changed when back in 1996 they saw Colin Gold performing as Billy on the popular television programme Stars in Their Eyes.

They got in touch with him and by the next year they had started touring together.

Said the Tornados: “Of course, no one could ever replace Billy, but Colin has an uncanny natural vocal ability that both Fury’s Tornados and fans alike adore.”

Halfway to Paradise features all of Billy Fury’s best-loved hits including ‘Last Night Was Made For Love’, ‘I Will’, ‘Jealousy’, ‘Wondrous Place’ and of course ‘Halfway To Paradise’.

And Billy’s spirit is well and truly kept alive with film clips of the great man shown on a giant screen on the stage.

Chris Raynor said: “Although Billy was such a big star, there hasn’t been a film about him. Everybody knows Elvis’ and The Beatles songs’ - it would be such a shame if all of those brilliant songs were lost to a generation.

“As long as we are well enough to play them we’ll keep his music alive.

“We tell the whole musical story - from his humble beginnings on the River Mersey tugboats, his name change, being catapulted to overnight stardom, his unbelievable 29 hit singles and his early death at the age of just 42.”

Tickets for Halfway to Paradise - The Billy Fury Story cost £20.50 and are available from the box office on Mansfield 633133 or at www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre.

For more information see www.billyfurystory.com.