This Historic Day In Music: Richard Starkey

Richard Starkey was born on July 7, 1940 in Liverpool, England. He was the only child of Richard and Elsie (Gleave) Starkey.

Richard was thirteen years old when he contracted pleurisy and then developed tuberculosis. He was hospitalized for well over a year. In 1954, thanks to a music program the hospital had to educate and entertain the younger patients, Richard started playing the drums.

“I never wanted anything else from then on,” he later recalled.

In 1959, Richard was the drummer with Rory Storm & The Hurricanes, a very popular Liverpool band. While working a three month engagement at the Butlins holiday camp that year, everyone in the band picked stage names for themselves. Richard created his by combining his penchant for wearing a lot of rings and a re-spelling of his last name.

Thus, he became: Ringo Starr.

Ringo continued playing with Rory Storm & The Hurricanes for the next few years. He was widely considered to be the best drummer in Liverpool. He became the first-call fill-in drummer for an up-and-coming Liverpool band called The Beatles when their regular drummer, Pete Best, couldn’t make a gig.

Eventually, the three other members of The Beatles – George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney – decided that they should get Ringo in the band full time.

Ringo Starr played his first gig as an official member of The Beatles on Saturday, August 18, 1962, at Hulme Hall, in Port Sunlight, Birkenhead, England.

Ringo often said, looking back over his years with The Beatles, that the song “Rain” featured one his favorite performances among all of their records.

“Rain” was written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney. It was recorded at Abbey Road studios during sessions held on April 14 and 16, 1966. It was released in the United Kingdom by Parlophone Records on June 10, 1966 as the B-side of a 45-rpm single. (“Paperback Writer” was the A-side)

Give a listen!


To put it all simply:

Ringo was my favorite Beatle.

He inspired me to learn how to play the drums.

Playing drums led to my learning how to play the guitar.

Playing guitar…well, here I am.

Happy Birthday, Ringo.

Peace & Love to you and many, many thanks.

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5 Responses to This Historic Day In Music: Richard Starkey

  1. CHUCK RHOADES says:

    Great song. Underrated. My gosh, a “B” side?!! Well, I can’t think of a B song from this group that wasn’t an A.

    • Yes. They were doing double A-side singles before anybody called them that. And when they did it intentionally, wow! “Strawberry Fields Forever”/”Penny Lane” for instance. Thanks for your comment! Hope all is well!

  2. Thom Hickey says:

    Well said.. He was vital for the beatles success.

    Regards Thom

    • I cannot imagine The Beatles without Ringo. Musically, visually, personably. They would not have been close to being the band they were. Thanks for your comment! Hope that all is well.

  3. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    Ringo was the perfect drummer for the Beatles. He probably influenced more drummers than anyone. Some other drummer would have tried to add too much.

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