100 Great Songs From The British Invasion: 1963-1966: ‘Bad To Me’- Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas.
Billy J. Kramer was born William Howard Ashton- he had the good fortune to be managed by Brian Epstein- and produced by George Martin. ‘Bad To Me’- his most remembered hit in the US- was written in 1963- by John Lennon and Paul McCartney- Beatlesmania had already hit in England but The Beatles at this time were only a rumour in the US. John claimed that he wrote the song while on holiday in Spain- and another time said that he wrote it with Paul while traveling to a concert in a van. Either way- in the summer of 1963 it was a #1 hit for Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas. Released a year later in the US- it went to #9. Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas -fame was short lived- they would have 4 Top 40 singles in the US- all of them in that crazy year of 1964. They were somewhat more successful in the UK- with 6 hits- from 1963-65. The odd thing in the UK was they had two #1’s- “Bad To Me’ and “Little Children’ and the other hits were very popular too- the lowest charting single during their run was a #12. Then- their success totally dried up. Billy J. Kramer is still around- he’s 78 now – a couple of years ago I heard him interviewed on The Beatles Channel- he had some interesting stories to tell.
Single: ‘Bad To Me’- Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas/ Written by John Lennon-Paul McCartney/ Record Company- Parlophone/ Recorded June 26, 1963/ Time: 2:22/ Produced by George Martin/ Released June 1963 in UK, August 1964 in US./ Peaked at #9 in US Billboard Hot 100 #1 in UK Singles Chart.