b. William Howard Ashton, 19 August 1943, Bootle, Merseyside, England. Kramer originally fronted Merseybeat combo the Coasters, but was teamed with the Manchester-based Dakotas - Mike Maxfield (b. 23 February 1944; lead guitar), Robin McDonald (b. 18 July 1943; rhythm guitar), Ray Jones (b. 22 October 1939, Oldham, Lancashire, England, d. 20 January 2000; bass) and Elkie Brooksâ€™ older brother Tony Mansfield (b. Anthony Bookbinder, 28 May 1943, Salford, Lancashire, England; drums) - upon signing to Brian Epsteinâ€™s management agency. Having topped the UK charts with the Beatlesâ€™ â€˜Do You Want To Know A Secretâ€™ (1963), Kramerâ€™s UK chart success was maintained with a run of exclusive John Lennon / Paul McCartney songs, including the chart-topping â€˜Bad To Meâ€™, â€˜Iâ€™ll Keep You Satisfiedâ€™ (number 4) and â€˜From A Windowâ€™ (number 10). â€˜Little Childrenâ€™ (1964), penned by US writers Mort Shuman and John McFarland, gave the group a third number 1 and their first taste of success in the USA, reaching number 7. This was quickly followed by the reissued â€˜Bad To Meâ€™ which also reached the Top 10. Their chart reign ended the following year with the Burt Bacharach -composed â€˜Trains And Boats And Planesâ€™ peaking at number 12 in the UK. Although subsequent efforts, most notably the lyrical â€˜Neon Cityâ€™, and a fine version of 'Weâ€™re Doing Fineâ€™ proved effective, Kramerâ€™s career was firmly in the descendent. He embarked on a solo career in January 1967, but having failed to find a new audience, sought solace on the cabaret and nostalgia circuit. Kramer had the good looks and had a warm semi-baritone voice that was effective, ultimately his weakness was in being supplied with poor material after the Lennon/McCartney association dried up.Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
© 2014 Rovi Corporation.