#1025: Trains And Boats And Planes by Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas
William “Billy” Howard Ashton was born in Bootle, Lancashire, England, in 1943. He sang in a children’s choir and learned to play guitar. Out of high school he apprenticed as an engineer with British Railways, while playing rhythm guitar on the side. He formed a band and only ended up lead vocalist when his guitar was stolen after a gig. Billy was the highest-ranking non-professional artist in a popularity contest sponsored by the local music newspaper Merseybeat. His manager got him connected to Brian Epstein, the manager of The Beatles. Epstein took over Billy’s management, and got his a contract with George Martin, who was producing The Beatles’ recordings.
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