McCartney Times

Billy J. Kramer appears March 10th and 11th Jersey City, NJ

Billy J. Kramer appears March 10th and 11th Jersey City, NJ

Billy J. Kramer appears March 10th and 11th Jersey City, NJ
February 26
09:06 2018

On Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11, I will be appearing at The Fest For Beatles Fans at The Hyatt Regency in Jersey City, NJ. On Saturday afternoon, Ken Dashow and I will premiere a show I am calling Before The Mania – Through The Eyes And Ears Of Billy J. Kramer which, through stories and songs will focus on what was happening musically in Liverpool before The Beatles changed the world and what influence it had on all of us. I put together a limited edition cd of some of those songs and they will be on sale at The Fest and I will be signing them. It’s called Raw Influences and here’s a sneak peek of the cover.

Find out more on Billy’s Facebook page

With record producer George Martin, the song “Do You Want to Know a Secret?” was a number two UK Singles Chart hit in 1963,[2] (but number one in some charts), and was backed by another tune otherwise unreleased by the Beatles, “I’ll Be on My Way“. After this impressive breakthrough another Lennon–McCartney pairing, “Bad to Me” c/w “I Call Your Name“, reached number one.[2] It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[3]I’ll Keep You Satisfied” ended the year with a respectable number four placing.[2]

Kramer was given a series of songs specially written for him by John Lennon and Paul McCartney which launched him into stardom. “I’ll Keep You Satisfied”, “From a Window“, “I Call Your Name” and “Bad to Me” earned him appearances on the television programmes, Shindig!, Hullabaloo and The Ed Sullivan Show. (Kramer had also been offered Lennon–McCartney’s “I’m in Love”, and recorded a version in October 1963. In the end, it was shelved and the song was instead given to the Fourmost. In the 1990s, a Kramer CD compilation album included Kramer’s version, as well as some recording studio banter on which John Lennon’s voice could be heard).

The Dakotas, (with guitarist Mick Green), enjoyed Top 20 success in 1963 on their own with Mike Maxfield’s composition “The Cruel Sea”, an instrumental retitled “The Cruel Surf” in the U.S., which was subsequently covered by The Ventures. This was followed by a George Martin creation, “Magic Carpet”, in which an echo-laden piano played the melody alongside Maxfield’s guitar. But it missed out altogether and it was a year before their next release. All four tracks appeared on an EP later that year.

The three hits penned by Lennon and McCartney suggested that Kramer would always remain in the Beatles’ shadow, unless he tried something different. Despite being advised against it, he turned down the offer of another Lennon–McCartney song, “One and One Is Two”, and insisted on recording the Stateside chart hit “Little Children“. It became his second chart topper and biggest hit.[2] In the United States, “Little Children” was backed with “Bad to Me”. “Little Children” b/w “Bad To Me” is the only debut single of an act on the Hot 100, each of whose sides separately reached that chart’s top 10 (No. 7 and No. 9, respectively). Despite this success Kramer went backwards with his second and last UK single of 1964, the Lennon–McCartney composition “From a Window”, which only just became a Top Ten hit.[2]

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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