Thursday, 9 April 2009

50th Anniversary - Billy Fury - Don't Knock Upon My Door

Billy Fury - Margo (Don't Go)/Don't Knock Upon My Door (Decca F 11128)

Fifty years ago today, Britain's finest Billy Fury recorded his second single, the killer double-sider, Margo (Don't Go) / Don't Knock Upon My Door. Billy was the cream of the UK's rock 'n' rollers and the b-side was perhaps his best rocker. It's the perfect mix for a 1950's single, a ballad on the girlies side and something for the gents, on the flip. Producer Jack Good and musical director Harry Robinson would have known this and probably felt that with Billy's look and stage presence, a ballad would probably sell better as his audience was going to be predominantly female. Margo was a natural follow-up to his debut single, Maybe Tomorrow (backed with Gonna Type A Letter) which had just crept into the top 20. Margo was another beautifully sung plea for love, which amazingly only just managed to break into the top 30. I remember my old art teacher used to talk about Billy Fury to me because she knew I was a fan. I suppose the fact that I was painting Eddie Cochran whilst everyone else was painting flowers and overfilled fruit bowls might have been a clue. She was from Liverpool and she reckoned she was in school with Margo - not interesting but there you go.

Billy's self-penned Sound of Fury album is quite rightly regarded as a classic and whereas the songs there have a Sun records rockabilly feel with the guitar and slap bass, Don't Knock Upon My Door is pure rock 'n' roll. From the guitar intro to the stop-start drumming, it's a great vehicle for Billy's legendary stage act. If I was being ultra critical I would like to hear the piano solo replaced by a slash of guitar but otherwise this is a fabulous record. The two tracks were also released as an EP which collated the first two singles,a nd is very collectable these days.

Below is a clip from Oh Boy where the up-and-coming youngester Billy Fury performs the song to a national audience. This was the Uk equivalent to Elvis' perfomances on the Dorsey Brothers show or Ed Sullivan.

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