17/7/15 – Billy J. Kramer With The Dakotas – Little Children – 1964 / Do You Want To Know A Secret – 1963 / I’ll Be On My Way – 1963 / Bad To Me – 1963/ I Call Your Name – 1963 / I’ll Keep You Satisfied – 1963 / From A Window – 1964 / I’m In Love – 1963

Billy J. Kramer With The Dakotas 1964Billy J. Kramer With The Dakotas were another Liverpool group that benefited from George Martin’s production, Brian Epstein’s management, Parlophone records – and of course being from Liverpool and having the Merseybeat sound. In fact only Kramer was from Liverpool, The Dakotas were from Manchester and a band in their own right releasing records and having hits on their own.

I’ve managed to find seven Billy J. Kramer versions of Lennon – McCartney songs recorded with the Dakotas:

Do You Want To Know Secret was originally released on The Beatle’s first album, Please Please Me written by Lennon, it was George Harrison’s vocal debut and went to No.2 in the US behind Can’t Buy Me Love in 1963. Billy J. Kramer’s version was a hit on the credible NME chart in the UK. It’s another single credited to McCartney – Lennon, instead of Lennon – McCartney. Lennon apparently said he wrote it, McCartney said it was 50/50 written for George.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_You_Want_to_Know_a_Secret

I’ll Be On My Way was the B-side of Do You Want To Know Secret and was a McCartney song. The only Beatles recording of the song is on the Live At The BBC album


Bad To Me was a Lennon song and a No.1 Hit for Billy J. Kramer With The Dakotas in the UK in 1963, reaching No.9 in the US.


I Call Your Name was a Lennon song and originally appeared on the The Beatles Second Album in the US (and the Long Tall Sally EP). It was the B-side Of Bad To Me. The most famous version may just be The Mama’s And The Papa’s version (note spelling with apostrophes, later dropped) on their debut album If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears released in 1966. It was originally intended to be used in A Hard Day’s Night.


I’ll Keep You Satisfied was a McCartney song and another hit reaching No.4 in the UK chart in 1963 and No. 30 in the US.


From A Window reached No 4 in the UK charts in 1964 and was the last Lennon – McCartney song that Billy J. Kramer With The Dakotas recorded. In the US I’ll Be On My Way was the B- side, it reached No.23 in the US chart.


I’m In Love was recorded by both The Fourmost and Billy J. Kramer With The Dakotas in 1963 but it was decided to let The Fourmost release it at the time.


By 1965 it was all over for Billy J.Kramer as he was starting to sound old fashioned next to The Who and The Small Faces and other upcoming Mod groups, Liverpool’s star was fading for the bands on the periphery of The Beatles. The cabaret circuit beckoned where Billy J. Kramer is still active to this day.


Perhaps the most famous song recorded by Billy J. Kramer With The Dakotas was this one, not written by Lennon – McCartney. This from Wikipedia:

“Little Children is a song written by J. Leslie McFarland and Mort Shuman.It was recorded by , and reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in March 1964 and No.7 in the US Hot 100 singles chart later the same year. The B-side of Little Children  in the U.S., Bad to Me (which had previously been an A-side in the UK which made No.1 there in August 1963) peaked at No.9 on the US charts simultaneously to the success of  Little Children there.

The lyric concerns a man’s entreaties to his girlfriend’s young siblings not to reveal his courtship of their elder sister and to leave them alone. As such, it was a departure from the traditional love songs previously recorded by Kramer (sometimes supplied by Lennon & McCartney). When offered another Lennon and McCartney song, “One and One Is Two”, for his next single by the manager of both groups, Brian Epstein, Kramer turned it down and chose Little Children instead, after a search for suitable material from music publishers.”