It was released in 1964, ‘Little Children’ by Billy J. Kramer, and the Dakotas was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching number one in the UK and seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Mort Shuman and John Leslie McFarland wrote the song. Shuman, who had previously written hits for Elvis Presley, created a masterpiece in this song that still resonates with people today.
I recently watched a performance of this song on a Beatles show and was blown away. Billy J. Kramer’s stage presence was captivating, and his voice was just as good as it was back in the day. The audience’s positive reactions were evident in their applause and cheers.
Kramer’s real name is William Ashton, and John Lennon suggested adding the “J” to his name so he would stand out from other singers with the same last name. Kramer was a British Rail fitter until Beatles manager Brian Epstein signed him in 1963. Epstein put him with the Manchester group The Dakotas, and they immediately scored a #2 UK hit with “Do You Want To Know a Secret,” the first-ever cover of a Lennon and McCartney song to chart. The follow-up “Bad To Me,” explicitly written by John Lennon for the group, became their first UK chart-topper. After another Lennon and McCartney Top Five single, “I’ll Keep You Satisfied,” they recorded ‘Little Children,’ their second UK #1 hit and their first American hit.
In 1964, a gallon of milk was $0.93, and a gallon of gas was $0.30. President Lyndon B. Johnson was in office, and the world was different. Music was just as popular as today, and songs like ‘Little Children’ were at the top of the charts.
As I watched the video, I couldn’t help but notice the great editing. The video was put together perfectly, and the Panavision aspect ratio was spot on. It’s amazing how many videos have been posted from this Go Go Mania movie with the performers squished in, looking like stick people. This upload did an excellent job of capturing the essence of the performance.
I’m not the only one who loves this song. The YouTube comments section is full of people who share my sentiments. One user, Lisa Loves Summer Time, commented that it was an “amazing song.” Another user, MELODIES OF MY LIFE, complimented the video editing, saying it was “perfect.”
Some comments were controversial, like Phil Jackson’s. He said that he saw Billy J. Kramer live on the Beatles show and thought his live performance was the best that night. Regardless of whether or not you agree with his opinion, it’s clear that Kramer was a talented performer who impacted everyone who saw him.
I highly recommend watching this video of Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas performing ‘Little Children.’ It’s a classic song that has stood the test of time, and the performance will leave you in awe. Share it with your friends and family because it’s a performance that deserves to be seen.