William Howard Ashton picked his professional name, Billy Kramer, from the telephone book. He then added the J because it sounded better. During the early 1960s he hired The Dakotas to be his backing band.
They had a Beatles connection as they came under the management of Brian Epstein and George Martin. John Lennon and Paul McCartney also wrote a number of songs for the group.
Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas placed six singles on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Hot 100 in the United States. They were much more popular in England as “Do You Want To Know A Secret” (#2), “Ill Keep Yoy Satisfied (#4), “Bad To Me” (#1), and “Little Children” (#1) were all huge hits in their home country.
“From A Window” was their last Lennon/McCartney song to become a hit in the USA and their last top 40 hit as well. Released during the summer of 1964, it peaked at number 23.
Billy J. Kramer is still performes and a version of The Dakotas are also still on the road.