Music

Ringo Starr’s 71st Birthday: A Life In Videos

Let’s take a look at some of the career highlights of one of the most well known drummers in music history.

Thursday, July the 7th is the 71st birthday of one of the most well known drummers in music history. Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr, survived childhood illnesses, grew up in a rough neighborhood, and joined what would become the biggest band in the world: The Beatles. Though some may have doubted his talent (the best drummers are always underrated), he went on to a successful solo career that has spanned over 40 years. Let’s take a look at some of his career highlights.

On “P.S. I Love You”, the B side of their first single, producer George Martin hired session musician Andy White to play the drums because he doubted Starr’s abilities, but Ringo contributed to the track by taking over the maracas.

 

He soon proved to be an excellent drummer, and an extremely popular member of the band. It has been said that during their years together, Ringo received the most fan mail. Each album would feature at least one song in which he sang lead, like this cover of the Shirelles’ “Boys”.

 

Critics praised his acting in A Hard Day’s Night, leading to his starring role in the Beatles’ next movie, Help!. One of the highlights of its soundtrack album was his rendition of Buck Owens’ “Act Naturally”.

 

A lifelong country music fan, he sang lead on their cover of Carl Perkins' “Matchbox”. It hit No.17 on Billboard’s Pop Singles chart.

 

When asked about his first-ever co-songwriting credit on “What Goes On”, Ringo joked that he only wrote “about five words” of it. Featured as the flip side of the No. 3 hit “Nowhere Man”, some pressings of the single didn’t even mention him!

 

He has said that he thinks “Rain” features his best drumming, adding, “I feel as though that was someone else playing. I was possessed! I think I just played amazing.”

 

On the second track of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, he sings under the “alias” of “Billy Shears”.

 

He also sang lead on the closing track on The Beatles (White Album), “Goodnight”.

 

1968’s Candy would be the first of many more film roles for Starr that were not Beatles-related projects.

 

When Starr first met the rest of the Beatles, he told them he hated drum solos. Ironically, his only drum solo for the group appeared on their last recorded album.

 

Still friends, all of his former bandmates contributed their time and talent to Ringo’s first solo album, Sentimental Journey. Here we have his cover of “Stardust”, which was arranged by Paul.

 

“It Don’t Come Easy” was his first solo hit, hitting No. 4 in the US.

 

He directed the T. Rex documentary Born to Boogie, and based his “Back Off Boogaloo” on comments the band’s lead singer made to him during a dinner.

 

“Oh My My” was the last single off 1974’s successful Ringo album.

 

Despite being released years before he would enter rehab, there is an anti-drugs and alcohol message in his cover of “The No No Song”.

 

His later albums weren’t as commercially successful, but he had some popular singles like, “A Dose of Rock N Roll”.

 

In 1978, CBS gave Ringo his own hour-long TV special, which also featured George Harrison and some notable Hollywood actors.

 

His Stop and Smell the Roses album was originally going to include two songs written by John Lennon: “Life Begins at 40” and “Nobody Told Me”. Lennon’s tragic death changed all that, but the album featured this track, written by George Harrison.

 

He played a version of himself in the Paul McCartney-starring Give My Regards to Broad Street.

 

July 23rd, 1989 marked the first concert by “Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band”. Though the all-Starr line-up changes throughout the years, the tours continue.

 

Starring in many commercials throughout the years, this 1995 one for Pizza Hut is one of his most memorable.

 

Ringo appeared on Paul McCartney’s Flaming Pie album with “Really Love You”, the first song to carry the McCartney/Starkey songwriting credit.

 

Vertical Man’s “King of Broken Hearts” is a little-known gem in his catalogue, and one of my personal favorites.

 

During the Concert for George charity event, he performed a hit written by his late friend, “Photograph”.

 

He was an honorary NORAD “Santa-tracker” for the 2003 and 2004 Christmas seasons.

 

Ringo’s 2008 Liverpool 8 album was his first to be released on CD, MP3, and USB wristband. The title track is an ode to his birthplace.

 

At the “David Lynch Change Begins Within Benefit Concert”, Paul and Ringo performed on stage together for the first time in decades.

 

With the release of The Beatles: Rock Band, Ringo can add “video game character” to his resume!

 

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon devoted an entire show to Starr’s appearance in 2009.

 

He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame early last year.

 

He recently announced on British television that he is working on a new album, which will feature another song about his hometown, “In Liverpool”.

 
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Books

How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.

Film

From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?

Music

The 50 Best Songs of 2007

Journey back 13 years to a stellar year for Rihanna, M.I.A., Arcade Fire, and Kanye West. From hip-hop to indie rock and everywhere in between, PopMatters picks the best 50 songs of 2007.

Music

'Modern' Is the Pinnacle of Post-Comeback Buzzcocks' Records

Presented as part of the new Buzzcocks' box-set, Sell You Everything, Modern showed a band that wasn't interested in just repeating itself or playing to nostalgia.

Music

​Nearly 50 and Nearly Unplugged: 'ChangesNowBowie' Is a Glimpse Into a Brilliant Mind

Nine tracks, recorded by the BBC in 1996 show David Bowie in a relaxed and playful mood. ChangesNowBowie is a glimpse into a brilliant mind.

Music

Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.

Music

Inventions Conjure Mystery and Hope with the Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch Are 'Live at the Village Vanguard' to Raise Money for Musicians

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch release a live recording from a 2018 show to raise money for a good cause: other jazz musicians.

Music

Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' Hides Its True Intentions Behind Dancefloor Exuberance

Lady Gaga's Chromatica is the most lively and consistent record she's made since Born This Way, embracing everything great about her dance-pop early days and giving it a fresh twist.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.

Music

Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.

Music

Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.