Billy J. Kramer
(C) 2017 3rd Alternative, Inc. | (C)2017Artisan Media Studio
Nearly 50 years ago, Billy J. Kramer burst onto the world stage
as part of Brian Epstein's empire of young, glamorous and
Billy has just released his new cd titled "I Won The Fight".
Born William Howard Ashton, Billy grew up in Liverpool England.
Until the emergence of The Beatles, Billy, and other artists, Liverpool was known only as a poor seaport which was devastated during World War II. As a child, Billy sang in the choir at school and took up the guitar at an early age.
Upon leaving school, he became a trainee mechanical engineer by day and an aspiring guitar player by night.
Indeed, he only agreed to become the singer in the band after his guitar was stolen from a gig and he could not afford another.
Billy was the highest-ranking non-professional artist in a popularity contest sponsored by the local music newspaper Merseybeat.
Billy's then manager soon introduced him to Brian Epstein, the driving force behind The Beatles, who he felt had the ability to take Billy's career further.
Brian took over Billy's management, and signed him with The Beatle's producer George Martin.
During this time, he was performing under the stage name Billy Kramer, with the Kramer being randomly chosen from the telephone directory. Shortly before the release of his first record, Billy was summoned to a meeting at Brian's office and to Billy's surprise, John Lennon was there. John suggested that he call himself Billy J. Kramer as he felt that adding the "J" would have more impact on the record buying public.
Billy was the first person ever to record and release a Lennon-McCartney song, even before The Beatles did.
Do You Want To Know A Secret became a number one hit for him in the UK.
The smash hit Bad To Me was written especially for Billy by John Lennon and Paul McCartney while Billy was on tour with The Beatles in 1963.
This catapulted Billy to international stardom, and appearances on the TV shows Shindig, Hullabaloo, and The Ed Sullivan show secured Billy a place in rock and roll history. His follow-ups, I'll Keep You Satisfied, From A Window and I Call Your Name were also written for him by John and Paul.