T H E D A K O T A S
The Cruel Sea / The Millionaire
Parlophone R 5044 - 1963
Magic Carpet / Humdinger
Parlophone R 5064 - 1963
Oyeh / My Girl Josephine (vocal)
Parlophone R 5203 - 1964
I'm 'n 'ardworkin' Barra Boy / 7lbs Of Potatoes (both are vocals)
Page One POF 018 - 1967
Can't Break The News / The Spider And The Fly (both are vocals)
Philips BF 1645 - 1968
Meet The Dakotas
The Cruel Sea / The Millionaire / Magic Carpet / Humdinger
Parlophone GEP 8888 - 1963
The Manchester-based Dakotas formed in 1960 with Tony Mansfield (real name Anthony Bookbinder) on drums, Mike Maxfield on lead guitar, Robin MacDonald rhythm guitar, Ray Jones bass and Pete McCaine on vocals.
Regular bookings at Liverpool’s Cavern Club introduced them to The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein, who by chance was after a backing unit for his latest singing sensation, Billy J Kramer.
Billy’s own band, The Coasters, were not prepared to turn professional so Lennon & McCartney suggested The Dakotas as replacements.
Up until this point Pete McCLaine had served well as the Dakotas’ vocalist but was now surplus to requirements and was politely shown the door.
Billy and The Dakotas were whisked off to Hamburg, Germany, to polish up their act and returned a month later eager to lay down some material in the studio.
Billy J Kramer With The Dakotas stacked up six top 20 hits between May ‘63 and May ‘65 including two number ones in the shape of Bad To Me and Little Children.
The Dakotas had their own ideas and on 29th May 1963 the four musicians trooped into Abbey Road and crafted their first solo sides under the watchful eye of producer George Martin. The Cruel Sea is a storming Mike Maxfield original that sailed to number 18 in the best sellers. In contrast, The Millionaire on the B-side is a melodic dreamy affair which once again highlights Mike Maxfield’s considerable writing ability.
Magic Carpet, penned by George Martin, was the follow-up single with the bouncy Humdinger (inked by Mike Maxfield and Robin MacDonald) stowed away on the flip.
Humdinger was taped on the 28th August 1963 under its working title of Limiter.
Archive paperwork reveals fascinating details of unreleased material from1964/65 and lists several titles including Drina, Taboo, Ballad Of A Soldier and Pam Ploma.
Sadly, most of these tracks are either lost or destroyed.
One of the few survivors is Ludwig, a beaty offering that was recorded and mixed to mono in 1964 but never issued until 2008 by Legacy Sounds UK on the Instro Beat CD
Ray Jones quit the band in 1964 and Robin switched to bass allowing ex-Pirate Mick Green to slip in on second guitar.
Billy J and the Dakotas soldiered on and played a pivotal role in ‘The British Invasion’ that swept America in the mid-sixties, a highlight of which was a slot on the Ed Sullivan TV show.
In 1966 Mike and Tony left the band and a year later the Dakotas broke up.
In 1989 The Dakotas reformed with familiar cast members Mike Maxfield and Tony Mansfield at the helm and notched up a few more years before Tony jumped ship and Mike retired through ill health.
The Dakotas remain active in 2011, albeit with a line-up that is devoid of any original members.
Nowadays Mike Maxfield creates jingles/library music at his home studio in Stockport and Robin MacDonald works in a school maintenance department and has no further interest in the music industry.
Ray Jones passed away in January 2000 and original drummer Tony Mansfield (brother of Elkie Brooks) is a financial advisor.
The Millionaire by The Dakotas
Magic Carpet by The Dakotas