The Dakotas (band)

The Dakotas (band)

The Dakotas is a group of British invasion musicians, which initially convened as a backing band in Manchester, England. However, they are most closely associated with the singer Billy J. Kramer, a Liverpudlian who was the lead vocalist for the group during the 1960s.


The group is perhaps best known for their instrumental version of "The Cruel Sea", a composition of Mike Maxfield, the group's lead guitarist. The track was re-titled "The Cruel Surf" in the U.S., and was subsequently covered by The Ventures.

This was followed by a George Martin creation, "Magic Carpet", evoking a dreamy atmosphere with a subtle echo laden piano, playing the melody alongside Maxfield's guitar. But it missed out altogether and it was a year before their next release. All four tracks appeared on a EP later that year.

The Dakotas re-formed in the late 1980s and recruited vocalist Eddie Mooney and session musician Toni Baker. After original drummer Tony Mansfield left to pursue a career in finance, and Mike Maxfield suffered a stroke - the present day added members added are drummer Pete Hilton and guitarist Alan Clare. In recent years, the band has appeared on several nostalgia 1960s package tours in their own right, as well as backing artists such as Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, Wayne Fontana and John Walker of the Walker Brothers. In 2004, The Dakotas worked with British comedian Peter Kay on hit TV series "Phoenix Nights", and "Max and Paddy". Toni Baker co-wrote all the music with Peter Kay.

In December 2007, Mooney was invited to front The Fortunes whose lead singer, Rod Allen had died after a sudden illness. [ [ - website news - accessed January 2008] ] This led to him joining the band full time and the Dakotas now have a new frontman/bass player in Paul Rafferty.

The Dakotas still tour and record to this day.

Original personnel

* Mike Maxfield (born Michael Maxfield, 23 February 1944, Manchester) - Lead Guitarist
* Tony Mansfield (born Tony Bookbinder, 28 May 1943, Salford, Lancashire) - Drummer
* Robin MacDonald (born 18 July 1943, Nairn, Scotland) - Rhythm Guitarist / Bassist (from July 1964 onwards)
* Ray Jones (born Raymond Jones, 22 October 1939, Oldham, Lancashire - died 20 January 2000) - Bassist (up to July 1964)

Additional information

* Tony Mansfield (Tony Bookbinder) is the brother of the British vocalist, Elkie Brooks (Elaine Bookbinder).
* Eddie Mooney appeared on PBS television in the U.S. as a member of the The Walker Brothers.


External links

* [ Official site] "(alternate page [] )"
*amg | id = 11:wnd9kett7q7z | label = The Dakotas
* [http://www.myspace/thedakotas The Dakotas on Myspace]
* [ The Zone Online Magazine] Featuring An Interview with Toni Baker of The Dakotas

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