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Ringo Starr first rose to fame in the early 1960s as the drummer for the legendary rock group the Beatles.
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Born Richard Starkey on July 7, 1940, in Liverpool, England, Ringo Starr, known for his easy-going personality, rose to fame in the early 1960s as a member of the legendary rock group the Beatles. Known for his role as drummer, Starr also sang and wrote songs for the group, singing "With a Little Help from My Friends" and writing "Octopus's Garden."
Musician, singer, songwriter, actor. Born Richard Starkey on July 7, 1940, in Liverpool, England. Known for his easy-going personality, Ringo Starr first rose to fame in the early 1960s as the drummer for the legendary rock group the Beatles. He grew up poor in Liverpool, and his father left the family when Starr was only three. A sickly child, he missed a lot of school on account of his illnesses. Starr eventually dropped out as a teenager.
Starr started his musical career playing percussion in a skiffle band, or a band that used common objects instead of regular instruments. His stepfather supported his interest in music and reportedly bought him a drum kit. Learning the drums, Starr went on to join a popular local band Rory Storm and the Hurricanes in the late 1950s. He took his nickname—Ringo—was given to him because of the rings he wore—as part of his stage name around this time. And his drum solos for the group were called “Starr-time.”
Starr met the members of another Liverpool group, the Beatles, while both groups were playing in Hamburg, Germany, in 1960. Two years later, he was asked to join the Beatles to replace their current drummer Pete Best. Starr was soon on the fast track to success with his new bandmates Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison.
Guided in the studio by producer George Martin, the Beatles recorded their first single, “Love Me Do/P.S. I Love You,” in 1962. While that song did okay, their next single “Please Please Me” made the group a pop sensation in England. Their first album together, Please Please Me (1963), added fuel to already growing frenzy that would soon become known as Beatlemania. Starr made a rare appearance on lead vocals for the song “Boys” on the album.
With their floppy hair and matching suits, the Beatles crossed the Atlantic Ocean to launch their own pop invasion of America in 1964. Beatlemania was in full force during their first U.S. television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Their single, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” had already climbed to the top of the charts before the taping and was followed by a succession of hits. And throngs of screaming fans—many of which were love-struck teenagers—filled the audiences of their live shows.
That same year, the Beatles took their music to the big screen with the humorous documentary film A Hard Day’s Night (1964). For their next film venture, Help! (1965), Starr provided the vocals for “Act Naturally.” Both projects gave Starr’s comedic and acting talents to shine through.
While Lennon and McCartney were widely praised for their songwriting talents, Starr’s contributions were not as readily acknowledged.
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The Beatles were a legendary rock group that formed in Liverpool, England, in 1960, and went on to transform popular music as a creative, highly commercial art form over the next decade. The Beatles were one of the most popular bands of all time, producing songs like "Yesterday, "Hey Jude," "Penny Lane, "With A Little Help From My Friends," "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)," "Day Tripper" and "Come Together." Learn more about the "Fab Four"—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr—by exploring our Beatles collection.
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