Billy J. Kramer (born William Howard Ashton, 19 August 1943, in Bootle, Liverpool, England) was a British Invasion / Merseybeat singer. He is known today primarily as the singer of various Lennon-McCartney compositions that The Beatles did not use. The performing name Kramer was chosen at random from a telephone directory. It was John Lennon's suggestion that the "J" be added to the name to further distinguish him by adding a 'tougher edge'. Billy soon came to the attention of Brian Epstein, ever on the look-out for new talent to add to his expanding roster of local artists.