Billy Meets Billy
And Fury's Still A Liverpool Boy At Heart!
By Bill Harry
November 1 1962
Billy Hatton, bass guitarist with the Four Mosts, was re-united with a friend whom he had not seen for two years. The meeting took place at the Empire Theatre on the evening of the Larry Parnes Show - and the friend was none other than Billy Fury, Liverpool's own top pop star.
Billy Fury turned to me and said "Billy Hatton of 15 Miles Street is the best guitarist in Liverpool" and the two of them sat down and talked of the times when they practiced together and performed at various local clubs.
"Things were different then," mused Billy Fury as we discussed the numerous groups
publicized in Mersey Beat. "There was hardly a thing when I started. There were no openings for young people - performers in clubs had been doing the rounds for years and youngsters weren't getting a chance."
He turned from his conversation with Billy Hatton and said, "How are the Beatles getting on? I see they're getting a lot of publicity in your paper." We then discussed the Beatles and road manager Hal Carter joined in the conversation and inquired about Lee Curtis and the All Stars.
It was obvious that Billy was tremendously interested in events in his home town and he mentioned that whenever he met Frankie Vaughan or Michael Holliday they conversed in their Liverpool accents.
"I visit Liverpool every chance I get," said Billy, "and spend all of my free time at home."
He seemed happy and relaxed and no strain of his recent illness showed. He was eager to talk of up and coming Liverpool groups and said, "There is always room at the top for talent - it depends on what sound a group has and what musical knowledge the group members possess - but if they have talent they can make it, there are new stars appearing every day."
Hal Carter, another Liverpool lad, informed me that negotiations are under way for Billy to star in a colour musical film to be made early next year, possibly in March. Billy is naturally very keen on film making and prefers strong dramatic roles. "I'd have to study acting first, though," he said. "I don't think I'm ready for drama yet."
During a trip to America, Billy visited Elvis Presley on the film set of 'Girls! Girls! Girls!' He asked Elvis if he would be visiting Britain and Elvis replied, "I'd like to come, but I'm tied up with films."
When asked if he intended building a name for himself in America, Billy replied, "I'm quite happy where I am and intend staying in Britain" - this is good news indeed, for we regard Billy Fury as our Number One Pop Star, he is a shining example of a Liverpool boy who has reached the top of the tree - and an inspiration to the many other talented Merseyside artists currently performing in the city.