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The luck of Ringo

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 (My new American Thinker post)

Happy birthday to Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) who was born on this day in 1980 and turns 83 today.  Ringo is one of the two surviving members of what we used to call “The Fab Four.“  The band stopped recording 50-plus years ago and we are still talking about it.  I guess that’s impressive.

Ringo will probably go down in history as one of the luckiest men ever born.  Talk about “being in the right place at the right time” or winning the biggest lottery of all time.  ”The luck of Ringo” or something like that.

In the summer of 1962, The Beatles, and new producer George Martin, walked into a studio to record their first single.  Martin settled on “Love Me Do,” a Lennon-McCartney tune, and it did reach the top 20 in the UK.  It did not chart in the US.  The B-side was “P.S. I Love You”, one of their most underrated songs!

The rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say, is that Martin replaced drummer Pete Best, an original member of the band and lifelong friend from Liverpool.  Martin replaced Pete with Ringo.  Martin’s decision was all business. Pete just wasn’t up to the task of being the drummer in a recording.  I recall Martin in a documentary saying that they could keep Pete but that he’d use a studio musician to play drums on the record.  Martin understood the friendship dynamics of the band but he had a job to do and a record to make and subsequently play.

Pete Best was out.  Ringo Starr was in.   Pete ended up with 9 to 5 job and sadly no one will write an AT post about his birthday.  Ringo has a big mansion and everyone remembers his birthday.    

Within a year of the roster change, the Beatles had two # 1 songs in the UK:  “Please Please Me” and “She Loves You.”  Eighteen months later, Ringo and his pals were on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and their songs dominated the U.S. charts.

In a few months, Ringo went from being a Liverpool drummer to playing behind John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  We call that a promotion or better, “the luck of Ringo.”

He had a great sense of humor and the media loved him.  Ringo had critical roles in the Beatles’ movies, such as his “ring” in Help and that funny walk to “This Boy: Ringo’s theme,” in A Hard Day’s Night.

Ringo did a couple of “lead vocals”, such as the # 1 song: “Yellow Submarine.”  However, his greatest contribution was being a professional drummer, exactly what George Martin had in mind back then. 

We remember Ringo’s birthday and I hope that he is doing well.   By the way, Pete Best will turn 82 in November and you can send him a card if you are a charitable mood.

Can anyone imagine Pete Best singing “Yellow Submarine” or “Act Naturally”?  I can’t.  

As my late parents commented when they missed a big lottery ticket by one number, it wasn’t meant to be.  It was not.  I told my parents on the phone that they didn’t have the luck of Ringo.  They had no idea of what I was talking about.  A few days later, I told them the story of Ringo and they understood my reference.

Happy birthday Ringo.  

P.S.  Check out my blog for posts, podcasts and videos.


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  • westgate

    Born on this day in 1980?
    You sure about that?
    Might want to double check, just to be sure we’re celebrating Ringo’s 44th birthday.

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