Friday, March 27, 2009

British Invasion: The Dakotas: "The Cruel Sea"

Whenever THE SILVER STRINGS or other Singapore guitar groups appeared on stage in the 60s, one of the most popular instrumentals played was, "The Cruel Sea" made famous by THE DAKOTAS.

*The Dakotas were formed in Manchester, England, in 1960, the name being suggested by a local promoter who wanted the band to dress up as American Indians. The band became well known as Manchester's top guitar group and they were regarded as being more sophisticated than the other Liverpool groups and used the echo chamber and other gadgets to produce a very professional sound. By the early 60s the band had turned professional and Mike Maxfield on lead guitar composed, "The Cruel Sea". It reached the 18th spot on the U.K. Charts in July, 1963.

*(At this stage of their popularity, they often shared billings with the fledgling Beatles. Meanwhile, future Beatles manager Brian Epstein wanted to add local boy Billy J Kramer (Little Children) to his ever increasing stable of stars. When Brian Epstein asked them to back Billy J Kramer, it was an offer too good to refuse). From: The Dakotas Website.

"The Cruel Sea" broke chart records in Singapore too! Other instrumental hits from the U.K. and U.S. played by our local groups included, "The Breeze And I" (The Fentones), "Walk Don't Run" (The Ventures), "Hawaii Five-O" (The Ventures) and "Cossack Melody" (X Group). The last instrumental has a long title, "There Are Eight Million Cossack Melodies And This Is One Of Them." But Shadows hits were still the most popular.

*Information from Wikipedia.

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