On This Day

Ringo Starr

Beatles Drummer, Singer, and Actor Ringo Starr
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Full Name: Richard Starkey
Profession: Beatles Drummer, Singer, and Actor

United Kingdom

Biography: Ringo Starr, a featured member of Rory Storm and The Hurricanes, became the final piece of the Beatles puzzle when he replaced drummer Pete Best in 1962.

Richard Starkey was raised in Dingle, a poor neighborhood of Liverpool. His father left the family when he was 4. A sickly child, "Ritchie" spent months at time in hospital recovering from peritonitis and tuberculosis. As part of his therapy, he started playing music. He was encouraged by his family, including his step-father, who purchased him a drum kit.

In the late 1950s he played in various rockabilly and skiffle bands before joining the Hurricanes, and becoming "Ringo Starr". He first met the Beatles when both groups were performing in Germany. When the Beatles secured a recording contract, producer George Martin expressed concern about Best, and the band opted to offer Ringo the position.

He provided a steady back-beat with a unique sound due in part to his being left-handed. Each album featured a turn as lead vocalist, with highlights being "Yellow Submarine" and "With A Little Help From My Friends". His happy-go-lucky demeanor and comic sensibilities were highlighted in the group's films; he continued working in the medium through the 1980s, including a stint on the "Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends"/"Shining Time Station" children's television program.

As a solo artist, his greatest success was 1973's "Ringo" album which yielded two #1 singles - "Photograph" and "You're Sixteen". He appeared on some of the solo work of all the other Beatles - the only one to do so.

After a stint in detox for alcohol issues, he re-invigorated his career in 1989 launching the "All-Starr Band", featuring a revolving cast of musicians sharing the spotlight. They continue to tour intermittently.

In 2010, Starr was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 2015 became the last Beatle to be inducted as a solo artist to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2018, as Richard Starkey, he was knighted in recognition for his service to music.

He has been married twice - to British hairdresser Maureen Cox, from 1965 to1975, with whom he had three children; and to American model and actress Barbara Bach since 1980.

Born: July 7, 1940
Birthplace: Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Age: 81 years old

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Dragon
Star Sign: Cancer

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1965-02-11 Beatle drummer Ringo Starr (25) weds British hairdresser Maureen Cox (18) at the Caxton Hall Register Office, London; divorce in 1975
  • 1975-07-17 Beatle member Ringo Starr & Maureen Cox Starkey divorce, after 10 years of marriage
  • 1981-04-27 Beatle Ringo Starr (40) marries American actress Barbara Bach (33) at Marylebone Town Hall, London, England

Historical Events

  • 1957-12-25 Richard Starkey (later better known as Ringo Starr) receives his first drum set
  • 1962-08-16 Ringo Starr replaces Pete Best as Beatles' drummer, first official concert two days later
  • 1964-06-03 Ringo Starr collapses from tonsillitis and pharyngitis, just before the Beatles embark on a World Tour
  • 1964-06-04 Beatles 1st (and only) "World Tour" begins with two ten-song shows at 4,400 seat KB Halle in Copenhagen, Denmark; British drummer Jimmie Nicol replaces Ringo Starr (recovering from tonsillitis) for the first five dates (10 concerts + a Dutch TV appearance)
  • 1964-06-14 Drummer Ringo Starr re-unites with the Beatles in Melbourne, Australia, after recovering from tonsillitis
  • 1964-09-24 Ringo Starr forms Brikley Building Company Ltd
  • 1964-10-08 Ringo Starr passes his driving test
  • 1964-12-02 Ringo Starr's tonsils are removed
  • 1969-12-12 Comedy film "The Magic Christian", starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr premieres in London, England
  • 1970-03-27 Ringo Starr releases his 1st solo album "Sentimental Journey", a collection of pre-rock standards
  • 1970-09-25 Ringo Starr releases his 2nd solo album "Beaucoups of Blues", a collection of country music recorded in Nashville, Tennessee
  • 1971-04-09 Ringo Starr releases single "It Don't Come Easy" in the UK
  • 1971-08-01 George Harrison's benefit concerts for Bangladesh (2 shows) take place at Madison Square Garden, NYC; performers include Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, and Leon Russell
  • 1971-10-29 Frank Zappa's musical mockumentary "200 Motels", starring The Mothers of Invention, Theodore Bikel, and Ringo Starr premieres in Beverly Hills, California
  • 1972-03-17 Ringo Starr releases single "Back off Boogaloo" in the UK
  • 1972-10-26 Ringo Starr and singer Lulu appear in non-speaking cameos on "Monty Python's Flying Circus" program
  • 1973-10-19 Ringo Starr releases music single "Photograph" in the UK
  • 1973-11-09 Ringo Starr releases album "Ringo"
  • 1974-02-08 Ringo Starr releases a cover of "You're Sixteen" as a single in UK; originally released by Johnny Burnette in 1960
  • 1974-11-15 Ringo Starr releases singles "Goodnight Vienna" and "Only You" in the UK
  • 1975-04-28 Ringo Starr appears on "The Smothers Brothers Show", singing Hoyt Axton's "No No Song", and John Lennon is the guest on Tom Snyder's "Tomorrow" program, in what turns out to be his final television interview
  • 1976-01-09 Ringo Starr releases single "Oh My My" in the UK
  • 1976-09-17 Ringo Starr releases album "Ringo's Rotogravure"
  • 1976-10-15 Ringo Starr releases single "A Dose of Rock 'n' Roll"; peaks at 26 in US, fails to chart in UK
  • 1976-11-25 The Band's farewell concert at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, California; guest performers include Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, and the Staples Singers; concert film "The Last Waltz" directed by Martin Scorcese
  • 1976-11-26 Ringo Starr releases single "Hey Baby"
  • 1977-09-16 Ringo Starr releases single "Drowning in Sea of Love" in the UK
  • 1977-09-30 Ringo Starr releases album "Ringo the 4th"
  • 1978-06-16 Ringo Starr releases album "Bad Boy"
  • 1981-02-06 Beatles Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr & George Harrison record a tribute to John Lennon
  • 1981-04-17 Carl Gottlieb's movie "Caveman", starring Ringo Starr, Shelley Long, Barbara Bach, Dennis Quaid, Jack Gilford, and John Matuszak premieres
  • 1981-05-15 George Harrison releases single "All Those Years Ago" in UK: the song was a tribute to John Lennon, and featured Ringo Starr on drums, and Paul and Linda McCartney on backing vocals
  • 1981-10-27 Ringo Starr releases single "Wrack My Brain", written and produced by George Harrison, and album "Stop and Smell the Roses" in the US
  • 1981-11-13 Ringo Starr releases single "Wrack My Brain", written and produced by George Harrison, in the UK
  • 1981-11-20 Ringo Starr releases album "Stop and Smell the Roses" in the UK
  • 1983-06-16 Ringo Starr releases album "Old Wave" album in West Germany; soon after releases follow in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Brazil
  • 1984-12-08 Ringo Starr hosts "Saturday Night Live"; Herbie Hancock is the musical guest
  • 1993-04-24 Farm Aid VI held in Ames, Iowa; performers include Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Arlo Guthrie, The Jayhawks, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Cash, Ricky Van Shelton, Marty Stuart, Martina McBride, Bruce Hornsby, Bryan Adams, Ringo Starr, and Dwight Yoakam
  • 2002-11-29 "The Concert for George", a benefit memorial to George Harrison held at the Royal Albert Hall, London, features Eric Clapton; Paul McCartney; Ringo Starr; Jeff Lynne; Tom Petty; Joe Brown; Anoushka Shankar; Billy Preston; and members of Monty Python
  • 2015-04-18 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Green Day; Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; Lou Reed; Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble; Bill Withers; The "5" Royals; and Ringo Starr
  • 2022-05-07 Berklee College of Music bestows honorary doctorates to Beatles drummer Ringo Starr; bassist Chuck Rainey; composer James Newton Howard; and R&B singer Lalah Hathaway
  • 2022-06-10 Ringo Starr suspends his half completed summer All-Starr Band tour when two musicians test positive for Covid

Biographies and Sources