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Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas

b. 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; lead 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’, and a fine version of 'We’re Doing Fine’ 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. Kramer had the good looks and had a warm semi-baritone voice that was effective, ultimately his weakness was in being supplied with poor material after the Lennon/McCartney association dried up.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Burt Bacharach & Friends: Gold

Disc 1

1. (They Long To Be) Close To You

2. Do You Know The Way To San Jose

3. What The World Needs Now Is Love

4. Wishin' And Hopin'

5. What's New Pussycat?

6. This Guy's In Love With You

7. Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head

8. One Less Bell To Answer

9. I'll Never Fall In Love Again

10. I Say A Little Prayer

11. You'll Never Get To Heaven (If You Break My Heart)

12. Walk On By

13. A House Is Not A Home

14. The Look Of Love

15. Baby It's You

16. Message To Michael

17. Trains And Boats And Planes

18. Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa

19. Make It Easy On Yourself

20. Knowing When To Leave

Disc 2

1. Anyone Who Had A Heart

2. I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself

3. Mexican Divorce

4. Wives And Lovers

5. Only Love Can Break A Heart

6. Blue On Blue

7. Alfie

8. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

9. Casino Royale

10. Promises, Promises

11. Living Together, Growing Together

12. Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)

13. Any Day Now

14. Heartlight

15. On My Own

16. Reach Out For Me

17. Always Something There To Remind Me

18. The Windows Of The World

19. Don't Make Me Over

21. That's What Friends Are For

x

Track List: British Invasion Gold

Disc 1

1. Ain't She Sweet

2. Bad To Me

3. I'm Telling You Now

4. I Think Of You

5. Needles And Pins

7. Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying

8. Wishin' & Hopin'

9. She's Not There

10. A Summer Song

11. Ferry Across The Mersey

12. Yeh Yeh

13. Game Of Love

14. It's Not Unusual

15. You've Got Your Troubles

16. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away

Disc 2

1. A Groovy Kind Of Love

2. The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)

3. Sorrow

4. Wild Thing

5. Bus Stop

6. Sunshine Superman

7. See See Rider

8. Gimme Some Lovin'

9. Happy Jack

10. Georgy Girl

11. Pamela, Pamela

12. Here Comes My Baby

13. A Whiter Shade Of Pale

14. To Sir With Love

15. Love Is All Around

16. The First Cut Is The Deepest

x

Track List: British Rock On Tour

1. Ferry Cross The Mersey

2. Trains And Boats And Planes

3. Tobacco Road

4. You've Never Been In Love Like This Before

6. Mirror Mirror

7. The Pied Piper

8. Baby Now That I've Found You

9. Silence Is Golden

10. Night Of Fear

x

Track List: Complete Sixties

Disc 1

1. You Got What It Takes

2. Little Boy Lost

3. Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport

5. Let's Have A Party

6. Brontosaurus Stomp

7. You're Sixteen

8. You Talk Too Much

9. Perfidia

10. Goodness Gracious Me

12. Rubber Ball

13. Wings Of A Dove

15. Exodus

16. Blue Moon

17. A Scottish Soldier

18. A Hundred Pounds Of Clay

19. Mother-In-Law

20. Dream Girl

Disc 2

1. Time

2. Goodbye Cruel World

3. My Boomerang Won't Come Back

4. Let There Be Drums

5. Peppermint Twist

6. Wanderer

7. Old Rivers

8. I Remember You

9. Locomotion

10. From A Jack To A King

11. Boys

12. Surfside

13. Tell Him

14. Proud Of You

15. Sukiyaki

16. Surf City

17. Danke Schoen

18. Painted, Tainted Rose

19. Not Responsible

20. You'll Never Walk Alone

Disc 3

1. He's My Blonde Headed Stompie Wompie Real Gone Surfer Boy

2. He Walks Like A Man

3. Hippy Hippy Shake

4. Little Children

6. The House Of The Rising Sun

7. Do Wah Diddy Diddy

8. Tobacco Road

10. Come A Little Bit Closer

11. I'll Never Find Another You

12. This Diamond Ring

13. It's Alright

16. Mission Bell

17. The Hucklebuck

18. I Live For The Sun

19. A Lover's Concerto

20. Tears

Disc 4

1. Girls, Girls, Girls

2. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

4. Tar And Cement

5. Born Free

6. Bus Stop

10. Good Vibrations

11. What Am I Doing Here With You

12. I've Been A Bad, Bad Boy

14. You Made Me What I Am

15. Hi Ho Silver Lining

17. Ode To Billie Joe

18. To Sir With Love

20. Different Drum

Disc 5

2. She Wears My Ring

3. Honey

4. On The Road Again

5. The Weight

6. Kentucky Woman

7. Try To Remember

8. Lily The Pink

9. I'm The Urban Spaceman

10. Crimson And Clover

11. Games People Play

12. Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)

14. Galveston

16. Good Morning Starshine

17. Put A Little Love In Your Heart

19. Arkansas Grass

20. Think About Tomorrow Today

x

Track List: Greatest Hits Of The 60's

Disc 1

1. How Do You Do It?

2. I'm Telling You Now

4. Stay

5. Hanky Panky

6. I'm Into Something Good

7. High Time

8. A Whiter Shade Of Pale

9. Confessin' (That I Love You)

10. Sloop John B

11. Have I The Right

12. Blackberry Way

13. Out Of Time

14. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

15. It Might As Well Rain Until September

16. The First Cut Is The Deepest

17. The House Of The Rising Sun

18. On The Road Again

Disc 2

1. Itchycoo Park

2. Tobacco Road

3. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

5. She's Not There

6. Going Up The Country

7. It's Good News Week

8. Happy Together

9. Do You Want To Know A Secret

11. Where Do You Go To My Lovely

12. God Only Knows

13. I'm A Tiger

14. 5-4-3-2-1

15. Dance On

16. Shakin' All Over

17. Hippy Hippy Shake

18. Telstar

Disc 3

1. Shout! Shout!

2. I Like It

3. Do Wah Diddy Diddy

4. A Little Loving

5. Bad To Me

6. You Were Made For Me

7. Venus

8. I Can't Let Maggie Go

9. Lovesick Blues

10. Let It Be Me

11. Silhouettes

12. I'll Never Get Over You

13. Google Eye

14. Boom Bang-A-Bang

15. I'm Alive

16. A Salty Dog

17. Angel Of The Morning

18. Handbags And Gladrags

Disc 4

2. F. B. I.

3. Got To Get You Into My Life

4. Super Girl

7. Put A Little Love In Your Heart

8. Ain't Misbehavin'

10. Tin Soldier

11. Fire Brigade

12. Hi Ho Silver Lining

13. Let's Go To San Francisco

14. Spooky

15. Time Of The Season

16. The Weight

17. I'm The Urban Spaceman

Disc 5

1. Working In The Coalmine

2. The Israelites

3. Wonderful World, Beautiful People

4. The Birds And The Bees

5. Good Vibrations

6. I'm Gonna Knock On Your Door

7. Melting Pot

9. Flowers In The Rain

10. It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'

11. A Must To Avoid

12. Carrie Anne

13. Anyone Who Had A Heart

14. Good Morning Starshine

15. Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying

17. We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place

18. Little Green Bag

Disc 6

1. Bus Stop

2. Think

3. Mony Mony

4. She's Gone

5. Honey

6. Michael Row The Boat Ashore

7. I've Been A Bad Bad Boy

8. I Understand (Just How You Feel)

9. Apache

10. Pretty Flamingo

12. Kites

13. Way Of Life

14. Man Of The World

15. Little Children

16. Everyone's Gone To The Moon

17. Wonderful World

18. You'll Never Walk Alone

Disc 7

1. Johnny Remember Me

2. Leader Of The Pack

3. The Carnival Is Over

4. If You Gotta Go, Go Now

5. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

6. It Must Be Him

7. Walking Back To Hapiness

8. Poison Ivy

9. Crystal Blue Persuasion

10. Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow The Sun)

11. Jenny Take A Ride

12. Games People Play

13. Lazy Sunday

14. Maria

16. Go Now

17. America

18. Thank U Very Much

Disc 8

1. No Milk Today

2. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody

3. Ferry Across The Mersey

4. You're No Good

5. Poetry In Motion

6. You're My World

7. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

8. Tribute To Buddy Holly

9. All I Really Want To Do

10. Excerpt From A Teenage Opera

11. On A Carousel

12. Elusive Butterfly

13. I'll Keep You Satisfied

14. Hello Little Girl

15. Lily The Pink

16. Bring It On Home To Me

Comments

Report as inappropriate
jim.meta
Love it!
Report as inappropriate
OMG, I haven't heard this forever. So glad to hear it!!!
Report as inappropriate
John Lennon wrote this when he was in the Beatles with George on vocals
Report as inappropriate
Did Lennon & McCartney also write "I'll Keep You Satisfied" ? For some reason, I think so--I used to have this 45 as a teenybopper of 14. But now I am wondering if my ancient brain is confusing it with "Bad to Me."
Report as inappropriate
"Little Children" was written by Shuman-McFar l a n d not Lennon-McCar t n e y . And Billy J. is still alive and performing.
Report as inappropriate
Lennon/McCar t n e y also wrote Bad To Me.
Report as inappropriate
resedajohn
"Little Children"-A classic piece written by Lennon/McCar t n e y
Report as inappropriate
I wonder if Billy J. Kramer is still alive

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