BILLY J. KRAMER & THE DAKOTAS - "Town Of Tuxley Toy Maker Part 1" / "Chinese Girl" Polydor International Production NH-591014) April 1967

I bought this record recently from an Australian record dealer for the mod beat flavoured B-Side 'Chinese Girl', which incidentally, is nothing like Billy J. Kramer's usual pop efforts. Maybe by 1967 Billy knew that his days as a successful pop singer were numbered if he didn't embrace the new hip sound that was happening in Britain during the mid sixties.

His backing band were still The Dakotas who provide a crunching backbeat on 'Chinese Girl' which was co-written by Mick Green and Robin MacDonald. Kramer's vocals are perfect and really add to the killer mix of mod and freakbeat.

The A-Side is a beautiful toy-town psych interlude that is most interesting to me. Someone calling himself 'twerptwo' added the following comment on YouTube. I don't usually do this but because the information provided is so good I'll share it on my blog.

"Town of Tuxley Toy Maker Part 1" was The Bee Gees first recording session in England after they had relocated from Australia. The song, written by Barry, Robin and Maurice features all three on backing vocals with the recording taking place in March 1967 at IBC Studios in London.

The orchestra was arranged by Bill Shepherd with Robert Stigwood as producer. Stigwood had merged his Robert Stigwood Agency with Brian Epstein's company and both Billy J. Kramer and The Bee Gees were NEMS artists at this time.

The song had previously been recorded in late 1966 by Australian vocalist Jon Blanchfield LK 1662, with The Bee Gees also on backing vocals, prior to their move to the UK.

Disc & Music Echo review - 15/04/67