It’s automatic. We see the name “Ringo” and we think of The Beatles. Ringo Starr’s bio has been told numerous times. Richard Starkey (Junior) was born on July 7, 1940 to confectioners Richard and Elsie Starkey. The youngster grew up in impoverished circumstances and was afflicted with serious childhood illnesses.
Starkey began his musical career as a percussionist in a “skiffle” band, a music group that uses everyday objects instead of conventional instruments. In the late 1950s, he played for “Rory Storm and the Hurricanes”. It was at this time that Starkey acquired his stage name Ringo, because of all the rings he liked to wear. “Starr” came from the drum solo portion of the group’s concerts dubbed “Starr-Time”.
Beatles fans know that Ringo joined John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison two years after their meeting in Hamburg, Germany, replacing Pete Best. The rest of The Beatles’ story is legendary.
Following the break-up of The Beatles, Starr began to shine on his own. His first solo album, “Sentimental Journey”, released in 1970, was a collection of Tin Pan Alley standards. The following year, Ringo tried on his country boots and came out with “Beaucoup of Blues”. His most successful solo effort came in 1973 with his self-titled album “Ringo”, which featured three top-ten hits.
Some of us remember his 1972 rock-u-mentary “Born to Boogie”. Ringo also appeared in such films as 1971’s “200 Motels” and 1974’s “Son of Dracula”. In 1981, he co-starred with Barbara Bach in “Caveman”; that movie led to their real-life romance and marriage.
Ringo has never rested on his Beatles laurels. Since the late 1980s, he has toured with various incarnations of the “All Starr Band”. He has teamed with such luminaries as Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren, and Billy Preston. In the mid-90s, the highly publicized reunion with Paul McCartney and George Harrison yielded “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love”. All together, so far, Ringo has put out 18 solo albums, the latest being last year’s “Postcards from Paradise”.
Here’s hoping Ringo has a happy 76th birthday.