Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Dakotas - Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas Original Hitsdotdotdot
artworkBilly J. Kramer was just one of hundreds of like-sounding British Invasion pop bands, launched in the wake of the Beatles brand of ballady MOR soft rock. His backing band, the Dakotas, was a strong outfit. Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas issued dozens of fluffy girl-target singles, and were among the teen idol hit list. The Dakotas were originally called the Remo Four, when they held sway in Manchester. The band included Mike Maxfield - lead guitar, Robin MacDonald - rhythm guitar, Ray Jones - bass, and Tony Mansfield - drums. When Ray Jones left the band, Robin MacDonald moved to bass, and Johnny Kidd & the Pirates' legendary guitarist Mick Green came in on rhythm. Occasionally, the Dakotas would strike out on their own, but they left precious few examples. Here we find the oft covered Mike Mansfield tune The Cruel Sea, and George Martin's Magic Carpet.
Picks: The Cruel Sea, Magic Carpet

Track by Track Review

The Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like Gossamer Wings, this has little character, and does not stand the test of time.

Magic Carpet dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This airy and psychedelic instro was recorded without benefit of the Chocolate Watchband's presence. It is melodic and unusual, merging flute and fuzz. It was written by Ed Cobb.