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Billy J. Kramer calls for Brian Epstein to be in Rock Hall of Fame
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Liverpool legend Billy J. Kramer today called for Brian Epstein to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a recipient of the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Non Performers.
It is 50 years since Kramer and The Beatles, amongst other artists, agreed to be managed by Brian's management company, NEMS Enterprises.
Speaking from his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Kramer commented, "The Beatles were a phenomenon that changed the World and over the years eclipsed virtually all other artists. But the Beatles just didn't happen overnight or organically, Brian Epstein literally pounded the pavement in London with a handful of their tapes trying to get the attention of record companies. After many rejections, his persistence paid off. Despite their enormous talents, without Brian, possibly the Beatles would never have made it, as happened to many of their contemporaries."
A handful of artists are inducted into the Hall of Fame in an annual induction ceremony, historically held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The Non-performers category, also called the Ahmet Ertegun Award, encompasses those who primarily work behind the scenes in the music industry, including record label executives, songwriters, record producers, disc jockeys, concert promoters and music journalists, and has had at least one inductee every year except 2007 and 2009.
English music entrepreneur Brian Epstein was best known for being the manager of The Beatles, but he also managed many other musical artists, including Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas, Cilla Black, The Remo Four, Gerry & the Pacemakers and The Cyrkle. Beatles producer George Martin has said that Epstein's enthusiasm and his confidence that The Beatles would one day become internationally famous convinced him to sign them, and Paul McCartney said of Epstein, "If anyone was the Fifth Beatle, it was Brian."
In the early 1960's, Billy J. Kramer's performances at local rock clubs around Liverpool soon brought him to the attention of Brian Epstein. "Bad to Me," written especially for him by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, took Billy and his back-up group, The Dakotas, to the #1 chart spot in England, toppling the Beatles themselves.
Billy's international momentum has continued through the years with sell-out concert appearances and standing ovations. Recently, Billy coordinated an amazingly successful "British Invasion" concert weekend at Foxwoods Resort Casino featuring himself and some of his contemporaries, which was broadcast on several public television stations.
Billy J. says, "It is a disgrace that Brian Epstein has been overlooked for all these years by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame committee. Brian brought the biggest Rock and Roll band ever to the attention of the world and he needs to be recognised. Even 50 years later, The Beatles still are the biggest thing that ever happened to the music business and he deserves this honor."
Published April 5, 2012
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