David Arthur Furry, musical nom de plume, “Davy Arturo”… began playing acoustic guitar and writing songs in February, 1972, after spending two years in the U.S. Army, including one-year in Vietnam as a clerk-typist. The passion for playing guitar began in Vietnam in 1971 when my best army buddy, Joe Doggette, played George Harrison’s new album, “All Things Must Pass", on his record player. The LP included the classic song, “My Sweet Lord”, which was the Number One international hit during my time in Vietnam. That incredible acoustic guitar strumming by George Harrison fanned the flames in my heart… I had to learn to play the acoustic guitar as soon as I got out of the Army!  

Indeed, Uncle Sam released me from the Army in February, 1972; because of the de-escalation of the Vietnam War, they had transferred the final year of my enlistment into a year in the Minnesota National Guard. Almost immediately upon coming home, I bought my first acoustic guitar at B-Sharp music in Northeast Minneapolis. It began a “love affair” that has lasted more than 50 years to this day… playing my acoustic guitars and writing songs.  

David Arthur Furry arrived in this world at St. Mary’s hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota on December 6th, 1950. I grew up in St. Louis Park, an inner-ring suburb bordering the city of Minneapolis. That small town developed as a result of the need for housing for veterans coming home from World War II. My father was part of that immense group of returning soldiers. We had a strong family unit, working middle-class.  I certainly had great parents, along with my two brothers and one sister. I was the second oldest sibling.  

When I was growing up I loved music of all kinds, literally, but I didn’t feel I had any musical talents; I had failed in the junior high music class as a trumpet player. My mother was a talented piano player, and my sister and older brother also played the piano with skill and enjoyment. When I was about twelve, my father brought me home a used Wollensak tape recorder and a microphone. It was great fun pretending to be Elvis on tape, and I started to enjoy the art of recording music.  

During high school the Vietnam War was often in the headlines. I graduated at age 17 and then worked full-time for one year. I saved quite a bit of money, which I spent on a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner and a new motorcycle. When it became obvious I was going to be drafted, my buddy Ed Hass and I signed up with the Army. We both scored high in the aptitude tests in the clerical field. After four months of basic training and clerical school, where I learned the valuable lifetime skill of typing, Ed Hass was sent to Alaska and I was assigned to Vietnam. My good friend Edmund “Dale” Wimmergren, 18 months older than myself, had already died in Vietnam on August 7, 1969. My friend Steven Plath, who graduated with me in the St. Louis Park Class of 1968, would also eventually die in Vietnam on March 28, 1971. Countless veterans from this war and all the wars throughout history would come home physically and emotionally scarred; PTSD was an unknown illness, but it would eventually undermine or destroy countless young lives. One of my greatest heroes in life has been Audie Murphy, who as a teenager became America’s Most Highly Decorated Soldier of World War II. Audie admitted later in his life that he suffered from PTSD all the years of his life after his military service ended in 1945. Audie became one of America’s most beloved motion picture actors and made many thrilling westerns and dramas, including “To Hell and Back”… in this 1955 war drama Audie starred in his own true story of his war heroics. And believe it or not, Audie was also a songwriter and wrote the lyrics to more than 20 songs, including country tunes that became big hits for Dean Martin, Charlie Pride, Porter Wagoner and many others.  

When I began my Army tour in March 1970, like most young men I felt I was invincible and would return home unscathed. My army job as a clerk-typist kept me out of harm’s way for the most part, and I served my solitary year in ‘Nam without any incidents of note. As Burt Lancaster once said, “I never had a single moment of heroism during my term of duty.” I served in Vietnam from October 31, 1970, to October 31, 1971. When I went in the army I asked my parents to sell both my Roadrunner and my motorcycle, which they did. As a result, I had a nest egg in the bank when I came home after my enlistment. I also had a 2nd car, a 1940 Chevy 2-door sedan that I drove for many years, so I did have wheels when I came home from the army.  

After getting to know my family again, Ed Hass and I got an apartment in South Minneapolis the summer of 1972. Ed was often working nights at Beek’s pizza parlor; meanwhile a few St. Louis Park buddies would drop by the apartment on a regular basis to listen to records and drink Boone’s Farm wine. One of the regulars at my apartment was JP Hansen, also a Vietnam vet, a likable lad who had survived a much rougher year in ‘Nam than me. Hansen would bring along his favorite LP, “Second Contribution”, from an up-and-coming young artist, Shawn Phillips, who would soon become one of the great singer-songwriter-guitarists of the generation. Phillips, at age 80, is still performing and entertaining his hard-core fandom into the present day of 2023. I’ve personally seen Shawn Phillips in concert many times, including the summer of 2023, and he has been at the top of my list of inspirations to write music.  

I give my buddies like JP Hansen credit for tolerating my early days of guitar playing, and the new songs that I wrote and played for them. Some were good, some were bad… I eventually recorded and copyrighted every song I ever wrote. Well over 150 songs, at last count.  I met my good friend Hank Brown, a fellow cab driver, around 1975. He was a huge supporter of my songwriting, encouraged me to keep going and that success would come. At one point he joked that someday they’d be selling my music on late-night TV commercials, like the legendary singer-songwriter and guitarist, Slim Whitman. A multi-talented performer, Whitman was one of the world’s great country yodelers! Another good friend from the 1970s was “Shance”, not a cab driver but a cab customer! We became great pals, and she also encouraged me to keep on writing and playing my guitar. A few years down the line, I was shocked to hear she had died of cancer at the young age of 42.

In those days of the 1970s, cigarette smoking was allowed everywhere including all music venues. Since I was allergic to cigarette smoke, I didn’t see myself as a performing musician. But I practiced my acoustic guitar and wrote songs often; the ideas would just pop into my head and I would write them down and record them as soon as I could. I would play and sing my songs for friends, and eventually a few times on open stages… smoke-free venues.  

During the 1970s I worked as a taxi driver and dispatcher, while playing my guitar and writing songs on a daily basis. In 1978 I got into radio broadcasting and worked as an announcer for two years in the small Minnesota towns of Windom and Montevideo. I enjoyed being a radio disk jockey, but I wanted to get my own original music out to the world. I went back to cab driving, which was a fun job where a person could set your own hours; this left plenty of time for writing and recording my original music. In 1983 I married a lovely gal from Montevideo, and we divorced three years later. No serious conflicts, just different lifestyles and goals. We parted on friendly terms.  

I never had any luck selling my music, even though I made demo tapes and wrote numerous letters to record companies. In 1991, I recorded a 10-song LP demo of my original songs. Ballads and love songs, with my acoustic guitar and vocals. My buddy Paul Musikov mixed and mastered the 10 songs. A few of the big-name record companies listened to the music, and some wrote back. None made an offer to buy.

Between 1988 and 2007 I wrote five books (as David A. Fury), biographies of movie stars of yesteryear including Burt Lancaster, Chuck Connors, Johnny Weissmuller, and Maureen O’Sullivan. I also got to be close friends with Johnny Sheffield (“Boy” in the Tarzan pictures), who wrote the Foreword to my Weissmuller biography. I kept myself afloat financially with part-time jobs through the years. I spent several years in southern California, again trying to sell my music; for the most part, no luck.  

In 2014, I moved back to Minnesota and continued recording music in my home studio; I was still determined and motivated. In 2015, I bought a dilapidated 1928 stucco house near the Victory Memorial Parkway in North Minneapolis that I renovated over a period of years. That ugly house eventually became a thing of beauty and my place of sanctuary and musical creation. When the Pandemic arrived in 2019, I continued to record my best songs in my home studio. I had become of aware of streaming channels for my music and music videos, which would allow me to bring my songs to a national audience. That brings things up to date. 

In launching my music project in 2023, I decided to use “Davy Arturo” as my musical nom de plume: My father called me “Davy” when I was a boy (after Davy Crockett); and “Arturo” is simply the Spanish and European name for “Arthur,” my given middle name.  

The saga continues.