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The Dakotas

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The Dakotas

60s Hit Recording Stars

  • Highly Recommended, Popular Band
  • Full Public Liability and PAT Testing
  • Available UK Nationwide
The Dakotas were formed in Manchester in 1960, where they had the reputation of being one of the most professional groups in the area.
They were also one of the first Manchester bands to appear at the Cavern Club in Liverpool.
In 1962, at the suggestion of Paul McCartney and John Lennon, Brian Epstein teamed the band up with Billy J Kramer and they were signed up to EMI's Parlophone label. Their first hit was a Lennon/McCartney song, "Do You Want to Know a Secret" which reached No.2 in 1963.
"Bad to Me" made the No.1 spot, then "I'll Keep You Satisfied" and "From a Window" both went into the Top 10. "Little Children" gave the band a second
No.1 in the spring of 1964.
Later that year, both "Bad To me" and "Little Children" reached the American Top 10, prompting the group to appear in the USA.
The Dakotas and Billy each had separate recording contracts with EMI and were billed as "Billy J Kramer with the Dakotas".
The group also had hits on their own, notably "The Cruel Sea", a guitar instrumental written by guitarist Mike Maxfield, which charted in 1963.
The Dakotas and Billy J Kramer's last Top 20 chart entry was "Trains and Boats and Planes" in 1965.
Following the death of manager Brian Epstein in 1967, the Dakotas disbanded.
In 1989 The Dakotas reformed, with original guitarist Mike Maxfield and drummer Tony Mansfield. Along with new bass player/vocalist Eddie Mooney, they invited Toni Baker to join the band on keyboards.
This new version of The Dakotas reunited with Billy J Kramer and toured the UK in 1999. When Mansfield left, long time friend Pete Hilton took over the drum throne.
In 2003 The Dakotas were associated with yet another hit - Peter Kay's "Phoenix Nights". The theme tune was written by Toni Baker and the band were the session musicians. The Dakotas also had a cameo role in the Peter Kay TV series, "Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere".
All the original music was again written by Toni Baker & Peter Kay.
In 2004, founder member Mike Maxfield was forced to retire from live performing for health reasons, although he is still actively involved behind the scenes.
Eddie left The Dakotas in January 2008 to join The Fortunes after their singer Rod Allen sadly passed away.
Alan Clare became the new lead guitarist, and Marius Jones joined the band on bass. They were both already well known to Pete & Toni, so were the obvious choice when it came to choosing the right men for the job.
Ronnie Ravey too had been known to The Dakotas for many years as an excellent frontman and so when they decided to become a 5 piece outfit in 2010, Ronnie was the perfect man to front the band.


1 x 60 minutes live set


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