Rock’n’Roll Unravelled- by Derek Shelmerdine.
An abridged review copy of this publication, with the front page caption ‘From its Roots to mid-1970’s Punk’ came to me from the author via a family friend who is a local radio DJ. The book is a combined ‘dip in’ events diary and pocket history melange which has self-evidently required a lot of detailed research-seemingly 7 years worth. It’s very interesting as one might expect and for Fury fans there is some information in Part 3, (pocket histories).
In Part 2 there is more detail related to or connected to Billy, some of it new to me; the duration of the Blue Flames as a backing group for one thing. I didn’t know that Them (with Van Morrison) were originally called The Gamblers either, which could have been confusing given the great Newcastle group of the same name. There is a fair bit of detail about the sixties bands and artists connected in some way with the Beatles era but to those of us who regard rock’n’ roll as a musical phenenomon from around 1954-60, (perhaps earlier at a pinch) it is strange to see the term covering the Who, Deep Purple, Hawkwind, Billy J Kramer, Hank Ballard, Springsteen and punk groups etc., which seems to be the way the USA sees it these days, and many in the UK. This modern view is confirmed by some of the real rock’n’ roll artists only recently included in the USA Rock’n’ Roll Hall of Fame, whilst mainstream Sixties pop artists and groups have inexplicably been inducted. For me it’s a bit like not seeing Slim Whitman mentioned in the Country Music Hall of Fame when I visited in 2007-how wrong is that.
To be fair-those of us who are more purist are really out of step with the way things are today (even Joe Brown says it’s all rock’n’ roll to him now although I suspect Marty Wilde may feel differently). Anyway, by setting aside for a while those narrower, but perfectly natural views for many of our generation, it is possible to really enjoy this book and to understand, if not to actually embrace, all kinds of ‘rock’ as being branches of the rock’n’roll tree. Let’s face it the line between rhythm and blues, rockabilly (actually categorised as such by some US reviewers of Elvis 45s in the fifties but not identified as such in this country until the late sixties or so), has always been blurred-take Fats Domino (first record made in 1949) and Bo Diddley as perfect examples. They are renowned as rock’n’ roll icons yet surely they played predominantly rhythm and blues-as did Chuck Berry on a lot of recordings. Even early Elvis was a mixture-I Got Stung and Jailhouse Rock were very self-evidently pure rock’n’ roll but One Sided Love Affair and many others were R&B and some Sun sides were pure rockabilly.
It’s never been that clear cut. The book does also set the scene by including some of the seismic events happening along the way, like the Vietnam War, thereby being a bit of a social history as well.
This is a book for serious music lovers with broad taste (but excluding Soul and Reggae etc.), and there are real nuggets hear such as the time Bo Diddley ‘went of script’ on a US TV show –and was never invited back! The formation of a ‘supergroup’ the Beatmakers in late 1961 with the Beatles and Pacemakers together with Karl Terry and Gerry on lead vocals, with John Lennon relegated to piano-who knew about that! The deaths of icons from our era such as Del Shannon are listed and it’s nice to see mention of the often neglected Ronnie Hawkins (a real rock’n’ roller) and fascinating to know that the first time Led Zeppelin played together was when recording the unusual PJ Proby LP Three Week Hero. Nothing really new about Billy Fury here, but he is done justice to, and it’s a nice reference book to dip into.
Published by DCA Rock’n’Roll Ltd 2016. Available on Amazon UK priced £24.95 with free postage.
Contact author via www.rocknrollunrevelled.com
5TH AUGUST UPDATE
While on holiday in Cornwall our very own Chris Eley recorded his memories of the late Danny Rivers. Please copy and paste the link below into your browser to be taken to the interview. This will take you to an external website:
BILLY FURY NEWS FOR 2016-STOP PRESS-BILLY FURY NEWS FROM THE SOUND OF FURY FAN CLUB
7TH JULY UPDATE
The Billy Fury Worldwide Discography by Peter Baldia (0rdering details correction)
At time of writing I have not seen a copy of this book but those of you who have copies of his earlier photocopied publications will have some idea of what this new book will be like-only professionally printed this time and therefore that much better with colour prints inside of rare records and sleeves from all over the world. For all fans who are also collectors this will be a must and is something frankly I should have attempted years ago. Peter has been a good friend to me and to some good friends of mine, and an ardent supporter of this fan club. He has been a massive Fury and rock’n’ roll fan since the 1970’s and is a very generous person too. The rarities shown are those held in several fans collections or otherwise known about, and no such publication is ever going to be totally complete, but his volume is as good as we are going to get for many a year. A splendid job has been done Peter and I see my old friend Tony Philbin-also a die-hard Billy fan from way back, has been involved in it. Highly recommended.
WE ARE SORRY THAT ORDERING DETAILS WERE INCORRECT IN THE JUNE SOUND OF FURY 60 PAGE MAGAZINE-BLAME MY OCCASIONAL FIGURE DYSLEXIA. TO ORDER THIS BOOK REFER TO DETAILS BELOW;
Available at 40 euros (inc. p+p) from Peter Baldia , Haslingergasse 41/20, A-1160 Vienna. Consult your local [Post Office for the best way to get payment to Austria. Paypal can be used at Peter’s email address but no cheques please.
Sorry for any inconvenience
Peaksoft's new Billy Fury double album features the first Official CD release of the 1983 LP The Missing Years.
The album also provides an exclusive first hearing of recently discovered studio masters.
A clutch of rare bonus tracks completes a superb must-have package for any follower of one of Britain's best-loved rock stars.
An 8-page booklet offers an authoritative commentary on the tracks.
The Missing Years marks the third licensing cooperation between Peaksoft and the Billy Fury Estate, with royalties donated to the Billy Fury Memorial Fund, which raises money for heart treatment equipment.
The project concept, provision of all tapes used, including studio masters for CD2 and and liner notes by our very own Chris Eley from The Sound of Fury.
Standard retail price for this terrific double album will be £12.99.
The Missing Years LP
1 Wondrous Place
2 She Loves Somebody
3 Paper Aeroplanes
4 Do My Best For You
5 Spider And The Fly
6 Silly Boy Blue
7 Fascinating Candle Flame
8 Halfway To Paradise
9 I Saw The Light
10 Bye, Bye
11 Hurtin’ Is Loving
12 One Minute Woman Please
13 I Call For My Rose
14 Let Me Go My Way
15 It Just Don’t Matter Now
16 You’ll Break My Heart in Two
17 I Love You
18 Lazy Life
19 Sticks ‘n’ Stones
20 Get Yourself Together
21 Driving Nicely
22 Things Are Changing
23 Don’t Tell Me Lies
24 All My Time
25 Going Back To Germany (alt take)
26 Paper Aeroplanes (take 1)
1 Baby Do You Love Me
2 Easy Living
3 Beyond The Shadow Of A Doubt, version 1
4 Beyond The Shadow Of A Doubt, master take
5 Things Are Changing: audio 1
6 Things Are Changing: audio 2
7 Things Are Changing: monitor mix 3
8 Things Are Changing: monitor mix 4
9 One Minute Woman Please: audio take 8
10 One Minute Woman Please: audio take 9
11 Beyond The Shadow Of A Doubt: audio takes 1-4
12 Baby, Do You Love Me: audio takes 1-4
13 Easy Living: audio takes 1-3
14 One Minute Woman Please: monitor mix take 8
15 One Minute Woman Please: monitor mix take 9
16 Beyond The Shadow Of A Doubt: monitor mix, 1-4
17 Baby, Do You Love Me: monitor mix takes 1-4
18 Easy Living: monitor mix takes 1-5
July's bargain spot: The wonderful Billy Fury Anthology double cd is only £6-99 this month on Amazon. As well as fabulous songs from Billy - it has awesome sleevenotes by our very own Chris Eley! Copy and paste the link below...
THE SOUND OF FURY TEAM CONTACT. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUND OF FURY, PO Box 157, Frodsham, WA6 1BY