Ep Collection (Audio CD),20 June, 1995|
List price $21.99
Beatles Connection Fueled This Band / 4
Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas road the coattails of the Beatles during the first wave of the British Invasion when it seemed all you needed to chart in the U.S. was to speak in a British accent.
Their Beatles' connections didn't hurt either. Kramer was discovered by Brian Epstein in 1962 playing the Cavern Club when Epstein bought his contract. As one of Epstein's growing roster of artists, Kramer would have access to Beatles songs. They also recorded for EMI and were produced by George Martin.
During a brief 2-year span, Kramer & the Dakotas would chart with four Lennon-McCartney songs: "Do You Want To Know a Secret" (U.K. #2), Bad To Me (U.K. #1, U.S. # 9), "I'll Keep You Satisfied" (U.K. #4, U.S. #30) and "From a Window" (U.K. #10, U.S. #30). (They would also record "I Call Your Name.") The only other chart hits in the U.S. were "Little Children" (#7, U.K. #1) and their final chart single, the Burt Bacharach-Hal David "Trains and Boats and Planes" (#47, U.K. #12).
Kramer was more a crooner than a rocker, as such the band recorded ballads and mid-tempo numbers along the lines of another Epstein act, Gerry & the Pacemakers. Their chart life was brief (their final hit "Trains" was in 1965) and by 1966 Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas were on the club and cabaret circuit. In March of 1968 they disbanded.
What they left behind is a collection of catchy pop songs as a reminder of what some of the lesser bands offered during the heady days of Beatlemania. RECOMMENDED