Hal Carter, Billy's friend and former tour manager, died in hospital on July 13, 2004 after a long illness. It was his 69th birthday.
Hal (whose real name was Harold Carter Burrows) was hired by Larry Parnes in 1959 and became Billy's personal manager, until leaving to work with artists in the USA for several months in 1960.
He returned and was reunited with Billy in late 1960, and was heavily involved in the Play It Cool project.
Hal quit Parnes' organisation in 1963.
He continued to support Billy until Billy's retirement in the late 1970s.
He was involved in Billy's comeback in the 1980s, and was heavily committed to The One And Only album.
Hal remained a close friend of Billy's partner, Lisa.
In later years, he ran one of the country's most respected music agencies, the Hal Carter Organisation.
Before Fury Fest 03, he told me how much he hoped to be able to attend, but his health prevented him.
Vince Eager writes: I first met
Hal in 1959 when he was driving for Larry Parnes. I saw him last, 18
months ago. He hadn't changed one bit. As Joe Brown said, "Hal
still had dinner at 12 noon!"
A major part of our musical heritage
has left us. The reaction of Alvin Stardust when I phoned him today
summed it up. The silence was so loud.
Chris Eley, on behalf of The Sound Of Fury, the official fan club, paid this tribute: Hal Carter mixed with the famous and rich as part of his daily occupation over the years, yet he still found the time, not only to acknowledge the fans of Billy Fury, but also to befriend them.
He never lost the common touch and that, taken together with his Liverpool humour and obvious love for Billy, is mostly what endeared so many of us to him.
He was prepared to stand up for what he believed was right and always supported the Sound of Fury, being very appreciative, publicly and privately, of the fact that all of the work undertaken in Billy's name was purely voluntary.
As late as last year at the Lisa Voice Blue Plaque Tribute to Billy, he chose to make a point of mentioning Billy's fans for their dedication, in particular in relation to the bronze statue.
He could have devoted the whole of his speech to Billy, and his association with him, but chose not to. That was the mark of the man.
Unlike so many in the music business he never considered the fans to be below his station, although that didn’t stop him calling me an anorak!
Those of us of The Sound of Fury, past and present, who were fortunate enough to share his company, whether at Mill Hill, his home or the intimate and very special pre-MilI Hill gatherings at the home of one of his dearest friends, are proud that he touched our lives.
This is yet another man from humble Liverpool beginnings who grabbed life by the throat and carved a lifelong career in a very fickle business, actually being paid (as he once said), for doing what he wanted to do.
This was after a job in the circus and a stint in the Army doing his National Service. This was the man who met Elvis and actually discussed the merits of It's Now Or Never with him; the man who rode shotgun on so many US and UK rock 'n' roll legends and who was not only the manager but a close friend of the very special Billy Fury.
He learned well from the school of life, and from his long apprenticeship in the music business, putting it all to good effect by creating the existing much- respected Hal Carter Organisation.
He was also someone who loved his family very much indeed and was extremely proud of them.
Hal's life is a cause for celebration, not sadness, and although we are going to miss him in so many ways, perhaps we can at this terribly sad time, at least try to view things that way.
To all Billy fan’s, Hal will be remembered as an integral and vital part of Billy’s life, and also, among other things, for the Fury label and Please Love Me.
To those who knew him, Billy, football, Chinese meals, the veritable string of famous acts and Jack Daniels will always be synonymous with his memory (especially the football!).
So long Hal, and thank you so much for
taking the time to touch so many of our lives in such a positive and
Our thoughts are with Hal's family and
close friends at this time. Harry writes: On behalf of this site's many
visitors, a donation to Cancer Research has been made in Hal's memory.
Our thoughts are with Hal's family and close friends at this time.
Harry writes: On behalf of this site's many visitors, a donation to Cancer Research has been made in Hal's memory.
funeral was held at Islington Crematorium, High Road, East Finchley,
Tony Harte reports that more than 200 people attended.
Recordings of Billy Kingsley's You Are My Love, Billy's Halfway To Paradise and You'll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and the Pacemakers were played..
those attending were Vince Eager, John Leyton, Dave Lodge, Tommy Bruce, Bruce Welch of the Shadows, Jess
Conrad, Danny Rivers, Marty Wilde, John McNally, Spencer James and Frank Allen
of The Searchers, Joe Brown, Dave Sampson, Chip Hawkins of the Tremeloes,
Chris Eley of the fan club, Peter Sarstedt and
OBITUARY BY SPENCER LEIGH FROM THE INDEPENDENT
Hal Carter in 1968 established the very successful entertainment agency Hal Carter Organisation, concentrating on Sixties and Seventies music. Surprisingly for a manager and agent, he was much loved by his artists and offered guidance on every aspect of their work - choosing songs, producing records, determining promotion and, most of all, arranging tours.
©The Independent 2004.
HAL CARTER MEMORIAL MASS, 18
By Mags Cummings
Jean Todd and I went to the Memorial Mass for Hal Carter.
We arrived at the church and met Peter and Lyn Keller from the Billy Fury fan club outside, then went inside and sat with them.
Hal's two sisters who had organised the mass at their local church were there along with a brother with two grown-up children. There were lots of cousins and their children along with their kiddies.
The majority of the remainder of the congregation seemed to be locals from Kirkby - there were probably around 70 people there.
Among those attending were Billy's mother and brother, Jean and Albie Wycherley.
The service was lovely. One of Hal's cousins sang along with two other women who played guitars with a man on bass as she always does, not just for this occasion.
They harmonised with all the hymns and were really brilliant.
Hal's older sister gave a reading as did his niece and then his younger sister gave a eulogy about Hal, saying what a great brother he'd been.
She told of him getting a bike which had no brakes from a local vicar and crashing through their shop window, his Dad getting to him in the nick of time to stop him from being cut in two by the falling glass.
They thought it was divine intervention because a vicar had previously ridden on it.
They are very close and family is very important to them. She stressed that Hal was not just the public figure known to many but a very dear brother to them who is much missed.
By Bill Harry, archived from Merseybeat