Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas

Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas


William Howard Ashton, 19 August 1943, Bootle, Merseyside, England. Kramer originally fronted Merseybeat combo the Coasters, but was teamed with the Manchester-based Dakotas - Mike Maxfield (b. 23 February 1944; leaad guitar), Robin McDonald (b. 18

July 1943; rhythm guitar), Ray Jones (b. 22 October 1939, Oldham, Lancashire, England, d. 20 January 2000; bass) and Elkie Brooks' older brother Tony Mansfield (b. Anthony Bookbinder, 28 May 1943, Salford, Lancashire, England; drums) - upon signing to Brian Epstein's management agency. Having topped the UK charts with the Beatles' "Do You Want To Know A Secret" (1963), Kramer's UK chart success was maintained with a run of exclusive John Lennon/Paul McCartney songs, including the chart-topping "Bad To Me", "I'll Keep You Satisfied" (number 4) and "From A Window" (number 10). "Little Children" (1964), penned by US writers Mort Shuman and John McFarland, gave the group a third number 1 and their first taste of success in the USA, reaching number 7. This was quickly followed by the reissued "Bad To Me" which also reached the Top 10. Their chart reign ended the following year with the Burt Bacharach-composed "Trains And Boats And Planes" peaking at number 12 in the UK. Although subsequent efforts, most notably the lyrical "Neon City", proved effective, Kramer's career was firmly in the descendent. He embarked on a solo career in January 1967, but having failed to find a new audience, sought solace on the cabaret and nostalgia circuit.



Apr '63 Do You Want To Know A Secret?/I'll Be On My Way

Parlophone R 5023


Jul '63 Bad To Me/I Call Your Name

Parlophone R 5049


Oct '63 I'll Keep You Satisfied/I Know

Parlophone R 5073


Feb '64 Little Children/They Remind Me Of You

Parlophone R 5105


Jul '64 From A Window/Second To None

Parlophone R 5156


Jan '65 It's Gotta Last Forever/Don't You Do It No More

Parlophone R 5234


May '65 Trains And Boats And Planes/That's The Way I Feel

Parlophone R 5285


Nov '65 Neon City/I'll Be Doggone

Parlophone R 5362


Feb '66 We're Doing Fine/Forgive Me

Parlophone R 5408


Aug '66 You Make Me Feel Like Someone/Take My Hand

Parlophone R 5482



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