Ringo Starr (The Beatles)

English drummer, singer, songwriter, and actor Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey,) MBE was born 7 July 1940  in Dingle, Liverpool. In 1944, his family moved to 10 Admiral Grove; and soon afterwards, his parents separated, and divorced within the year. At age six Starkey developed appendicitis. Following a routine appendectomy he contracted peritonitis, causing him to fall into a coma that lasted for three days. His recovery took twelve months, which he spent away from his family at Liverpool’s Myrtle Street Children’s hospital.

Upon his discharge in May 1948, his mother allowed him to stay home, causing him to miss school. At age eight, he remained illiterate, with a poor grasp of mathematics and his lack of education contributed to a feeling of alienation at school, and he regularly played truant at Sefton Park. However After several years of twice weekly tutoring Starkey had nearly caught up. However in 1953, he contracted tuberculosis and was admitted to a sanatorium, where he remained for the next two years. During his stay the medical staff made an effort to stimulate motor activity and relieve boredom by encouraging their patients to join the hospital band, leading to his first exposure to a percussion instrument; a makeshift mallet made from a cotton bobbin that he used to strike the cabinets next to his bed. Starkey grew increasingly interested in drumming, receiving a copy of the Alyn Ainsworth song “Bedtime for Drums”. Starr said My grandparents gave me a mandolin and a banjo, but I didn’t want them. My grandfather gave me a harmonica … we had a piano but I only wanted to play the drums.

Starkey attended St Silas, a Church of England primary school near his house where his classmates nicknamed him “Lazarus”, and later Dingle Vale Secondary modern school, where he showed an aptitude for art, drama and mechanics. As a result of the prolonged hospitalisations, he fell behind his peers scholastically and was ineligible for the 11-plus qualifying examination required for attendance at a grammar school. Starkey then became interested in recordings by Dinah Shore, Sarah Vaughan and Billy Daniels from his mother’s second husband Harry Graves who was an impassioned fan of big band music and their vocalists. Then After another extended hospital stay following Starkey’s recovery from tuberculosis, he did not return to school, preferring instead to stay at home and listen to music while playing along by beating biscuit tins with sticks.

After his return home from the sanatorium in late 1955, Starkey entered the UK workforce in 1955, he worked at British Rail before securing an apprenticeship at a Liverpool equipment manufacturer. , but lacking motivation and discipline, his initial attempts at gainful employment proved unsuccessful. In an effort to secure himself some warm clothes, he briefly held a position at British Rail, who supplied their employees with suits. They gave him a hat, but no uniform, and unable to pass the physical examination, he was laid off and granted unemployment benefits.He then found work as a waiter serving drinks on a day boat that travelled from Liverpool to North Wales, but his fear of conscription into military service led him to quit the job, not wanting to give the Royal Navy the impression that he was suitable for seafaring work. In mid-1956, Graves secured Starkey a position as an apprentice machinist at a Liverpool equipment manufacturer.

While working at the facility Starkey befriended Roy Trafford, and the two bonded over their shared interest in music.Trafford introduced him to skiffle, and he quickly became a fervent admirer. In 1957, he cofounded his first band, the two began rehearsing songs in the manufacturing plant’s cellar they were joined by Starkey’s neighbour and co-worker, the guitarist Eddie Miles, forming the Eddie Miles Band, later renamed Eddie Clayton and the Clayton Squares after a Liverpool landmark. Performing popular skiffle songs such as “Rock Island Line” and “Walking Cane”. On Christmas Day 1957, Graves gave Starkey a second-hand drum kit consisting of a snare drum, bass drum and a makeshift cymbal fashioned from an old rubbish bin lid. Starr had been a devoted fan of skiffle and blues music, He was also influenced by country artists, including Hank Williams, Buck Owens and Hank Snow, and jazz drummers such as Chico Hamilton and Yusef Lateef, whose compositional style inspired Starr’s fluid and energetic drum fills and grooves Gene Autry and Lee Dorsey Were also among Starr’s first musical heroes.

He joined Al Caldwell’s Texans, a skiffle group who were looking for someone with a proper drum kit so that the group could transition from one of Liverpool’s best-known skiffle acts to a full-fledged rock and roll band. About this time he adopted the stage name Ringo Starr; derived from the rings he wore and also because it implied a country western influence. His drum solos were billed as Starr Time. By early 1960 the Hurricanes had become one of Liverpool’s leading bands and were offered a three-month residency at a Butlins holiday camp in Wales. The Butlins gig led to other opportunities for the band, including an unpleasant tour of US Air Force bases in France. The Hurricanes became so successful that when initially offered a highly coveted residency in Hamburg, they turned it down because of their prior commitment with Butlins. However They eventually accepted, joining the Beatles at Bruno Koschmider‍ ’s Kaiserkeller on 1 October 1960, where Starr first met the Beatles. Storm’s Hurricanes were given top-billing over the Beatles, however Starr performed with the Beatles during a few stand-in engagements while in Hamburg.

On 15 October 1960, he drummed with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, recording with them for the first time while backing Hurricanes singer Lu Walters on the George Gershwin aria “Summertime”.During Starr’s first stay in Hamburg he also met Tony Sheridan, who valued his drumming abilities to the point of asking Starr to leave the Hurricanes and join his band. So Starkey quit the Hurricanes in January 1962 and briefly joined Sheridan in Hamburg before finally joining the Beatles in August 1962, replacing Pete Best. Starr first performed as a member of the band on 18 August 1962, at a horticultural society dance at Port Sunlight and an appearance at the Cavern Club the following day. Starr’s first recording session as a member of the Beatles took place on 4 September 1962. The Beatles next singles were Please Please Me and Love Me Do and performed on Thank Your Lucky Stars and The Ed Sullivan Show in the United States. During live performances, the Beatles continued the Starr Time routine that had been popular among his fans: Lennon would place a microphone in front of Starr’s kit in preparation for his spotlight moment and audiences would erupt in screams.

Starr also played key roles in the Beatles’ films and appeared in numerous other films. He sang lead vocals on the songs “With a Little Help from My Friends”, “Yellow Submarine” and their cover of “Act Naturally”. He also wrote the Beatles’ songs “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Octopus’s Garden”, and is credited as a co-writer of others, such as “What Goes On” and “Flying”. When the Beatles made their film debut in A Hard Day’s Night, Starr garnered much praise from critics, who considered both his delivery of deadpan one-liners and his non-speaking scenes highlights of the movie. After the release of the Beatles’ second feature film, Help! (1965), Starr won a Melody Maker poll for his performance as the central character in the film.

Sadly In 1964 Starr contracted pharyngitis and tonsillitis, shortly before a tour ofDenmark, the Netherlands, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and was temporarily replaced for five concert dates by 24-year-old session drummer Jimmie Nicol, before rejoining the band in Melbourne on 15 June. On 11 February 1965, Starr married Maureen Cox. In August 1966, the Beatles released Revolver, their seventh UK LP featuring the song “Yellow Submarine”, with Starr as lead singer. Starr also sang lead vocals on “With a Little Help from My Friends” on the 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Sadly though the Beatles Manager Brian Epstein died August 1967 and Soon afterwards, the band began filming the Magical Mystery Tour. Then In February 1968, Starr became the first Beatle to sing during another artist’s show without the other three present when he sang the Buck Owens hit “Act Naturally”. He also performed a duet with Cilla Black, “Do you Like Me Just a Little Bit?” on her BBC One television programme, Cilla.

In 1968 The Beatles, released the classic “White Album” inspired by a visit to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at his ashram in Rishikesh, India where they had of their most prolific writing periods, composing some fantastic songs including “Don’t Pass Me By”. Sadly During the recording of the White Album, relations within the band deteriorated to the point where Starr quit the band for two weeks, taking a holiday with his family in Sardinia on a boat loaned by Peter Sellers. During this time Ringo was served octopus, and A subsequent conversation with the ship’s captain regarding the behaviours of the animal served as the inspiration for the song “Octopus’s Garden”. He returned to the studio two weeks later and the Beatles began production of their’ fourth feature film, Let It Be, and its accompanying LP, featuring the song “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”. Sadly relations deteriorated again within the the band until September 1969, when Lennon quit the Beatles followed by McCartney On 10 April 1970,

After the Beatles break-up in 1970, Starr released two solo albums Sentimental Journey, featuring renditions of songs by Quincy Jones, Maurice Gibb, George Martin and Paul McCartney, and the country-inspired Beaucoups of Blues, featuring Nashville session musician Pete Drake. He also released successful singles including “It Don’t Come Easy”,”Photograph” and “You’re Sixteen”. Starr played drums on Lennon’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970), Ono’s Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band (1970), and on Harrison’s albums All Things Must Pass (1970) and Living in the Material World.Starr participated in the Concert for Bangladesh, organised by Harrison, and made his directorial debut with the T. Rex documentary Born to Boogie. In 1972, he released his most successful UK single, “Back Off Boogaloo”. In 1973 he released the album Ringo and the songs Photograph”, co-written with Harrison, and “You’re Sixteen”, written by the Sherman Brothers and featuring writing and musical contributions from Harrison, Lennon and McCartney including “Oh My My”. Next He released The album Goodnight Vienna in 1974 featuring a cover of the Platters’ “Only You (And You Alone)”and “No No Song”.

He became romantically involved with Lynsey de Paul after playing tambourine on a song she wrote and produced for Vera Lynn, “Don’t You Remember When”, and inspiring another De Paul song, “If I Don’t Get You the Next One Will” and founded the record label Ring O’Records in 1975. Then in 1976 Starr appeared as a guest in the Band’s farewell concert, featured in the 1978 Martin Scorsese documentary The Last Waltz and released Ringo’s Rotogravure, featuring compositions by McCartney, Lennon and Harrison which contained the songs A Dose of Rock ‘n’ Roll” and a cover of “Hey Baby”. Starr’s next album was a curious blend of disco and 1970s pop, entitled Ringo the 4th. Following Lennon’s murder in 1980, Harrison modified the lyrics of a song he had originally written for Starr, “All Those Years Ago”, as a tribute to their former bandmate which included vocal contributions from both Paul and Linda McCartney and Starr’s original drum part. In 1981, Starr released the album Stop and Smell the Roses, containing the Harrison composition “Wrack My Brain”.

From 1984 to 1986, Starr narrated the first two series of the children’s series Thomas & Friends, based on the books by the Reverend W. Awdry and also portrayed the character Mr. Conductor in the programme’s American spin-off Shining Time Station, In 1985, he performed with his son Zak as part of Artists United Against Apartheid on the recording, Sun City. In 1987 Starr played drums on the song “When We Was Fab”, from Harrison’s album Cloud no. 9 co-written by Harrison and Jeff Lynne. I’m 1987 Starr, Harrison and Lynne joined Eric Clapton, Elton John, Phil Collins and Ray Cooper in a performance for the Prince’s Trust charity. In 1989, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band performed in front of an audience of ten thousand in Dallas, Texas. The album Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band featured a compilation of live performances. Starr also recorded a version of the song “I Call Your Name” for a television special marking the 10th anniversary of John Lennon’s death and the 50th anniversary of Lennon’s birth which was performed by a supergroup composed of Lynne, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh and Jim Keltner.

In 1991 Starr made a cameo appearance on The Simpsons episode “Brush with Greatness” and contributed an original song, “You Never Know”, to the soundtrack of the John Hughes film Curly Sue. In 1992, Starr released the album Time Takes Time, featuring guest appearances by Brian Wilson and Harry Nilsson. In 1995 Starr, McCartney and Harrison released the Beatles Anthology for which They recorded two new Beatles songs built around solo vocal and piano tapes recorded by Lennon “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love”. Starr guested on two songs from McCartney’s 1997 album, Flaming Pie. McCartney had written a song about Starr’s ex-wife Maureen, who died in 1994, called “Little Willow” and asked Starr if he would play on another song, “Beautiful Night”. They also recorded a jam session, which became, “Really Love You”, In 1998, he released the album Vertical Man featuring Producer Mark Hudson, and his band the Roundheads, plus many famous guests including Martin, McCartney and George Harrison.

In 2002 Starr was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame and On 29 November 2002 (the first anniversary of Harrison’s death), Starr performed “Photograph” and a cover of Carl Perkins’ “Honey Don’t” at the Concert for George held in the Royal Albert Hall, London. In 2003, Starr served as an honorary Santa Tracker and voice-over personality during the London stop in Father Christmas’s annual Christmas Eve journey, as depicted in the annual NORAD tracks Santa program. According to NORAD officials, he was “a Starr in the east” who helped guide North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Santa-tracking. In 2005, Liverpool’s City Council announced plans to demolish Starr’s birthplace, 9 Madryn Street, stating that it had “no historical significance”. However after protests the LCC later announced that the building would be taken apart brick by brick and preserved. In 2008 Starr released the album Liverpool 8 produced by David A. Stewart, Mark Hudson and Starr. In 2009, Starr reunited with McCartney at the David Lynch “Change Begins Within” Benefit Concert at Radio City Music Hall. After a separate performance from Starr he later joined McCartney to perform “With a Little Help from My Friends”, “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Cosmically Conscious”. Starr also promoted The Beatles: Rock Band video game and in 2009, Starr once again performed the voice of Thomas the Tank Engine for “The Official BBC Children in Need Medley”.

In 2010 Starr self-produced and released his fifteenth studio album, Y Not, which included the track “Walk with You” featuring a vocal contribution from McCartney he also appeared during Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief. On 7 July 2010, Starr celebrated his 70th birthday at Radio City Music Hall, New York with another All-Starr Band concert, with friends and family joining him on stage including Yoko Ono and his son Zak: McCartney made a surprise appearance. Starr also recorded a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Think It Over” for the tribute album Listen to Me: Buddy Holly, which was released in 2011. In 2012, he released the album Ringo 2012. In2014, Starr reunited with Paul McCartney for a special performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards performing the song “Queenie Eye” at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, he was also featured alongside McCartney in the programme The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles. In 2014, Starr toured Canada and the US with an updated version of the Twelfth All-Starr Band. He also became involved in “#peacerocks”, an anti-violence campaign started by fashion designer John Varvatos, in conjunction with the David Lynch Foundation.In September 2014, Starr won at the GQ Men of the Year Awards for his humanitarian work with the David Lynch Foundation. Starr”s latest album, Postcards from Paradise was released 2015. In 2011, Rolling Stone readers named Starr the fifth-greatest drummer of all time. Starr, who was previously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Beatle in 1988, was inducted for his solo career in 2015, making him one of 21 performers inducted more than once.

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