Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ringo Starr, The #89 Artist of the Seventies*

Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) fought off childhood diseases and living in one of the poorest areas of Liverpool, England to become one of the most recognizable drummers on the planet as a member of the Beatles.

After the Beatles announced they had split in that fateful news conference on April 10, 1970, Starr released two albums before the year was up.  Starr, who had only sung lead on an average of one song per Beatles album, and who had written just a handful of songs, had probably the most surprising of the Beatle solo careers.

Ringo's debut album Sentimental Journey went to #22 on the Album chart and sold over 500,000 copies. 

Starr followed with the album Beaucoups of Blues, which was engineered by Scotty Moore, but the title song only hit #87.
Ringo played drums for his former Beatles mates, John Lennon (on John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band) and George Harrison (All Things Must Pass and Living in the Material World).  In 1971, Starr took part in Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh.  Ringo and George wrote the song "It Don't Come Easy", which landed at #4 (#1 in Canada) and sold over one million copies.  The song hit #1 in most markets.

That one was so successful; Starr tried another non-album single--"Back Off Boogaloo".  It peaked at #2 in the U.K. and Canada and #9 in the United States.
In 1972, Starr made his directorial debut in the T. Rex documentary Born to Boogie.  The next year was Starr's best with the release of the album Ringo, which featured songwriting contributions from each of the former Beatles.  The album went Platinum, thanks to two #1 hits.  The first was another song co-written with Harrison, "Photograph", which topped charts in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

Starr then released his remake of the song "You're Sixteen".  Both "Photograph" and "You're Sixteen" went Gold.

Ringo achieved a third Top 5 song from the album when "Oh My My" went to #5.

In 1974, Starr released the album Goodnight Vienna.  Ringo's cover of the Platters' smash "Only You (And You Alone)" reached #6.

Starr took the album to #8, thanks to "No No Song", a #3 song that was his seventh consecutive Top 10 hit.

In 1975, Starr founded the record label Ring O'Records and signed eleven artists.  He released three more solo albums, but his run as a top-notch solo artist was over. 

In 1984, the minor planet 4150 Starr, discovered on August 31st, was named after Ringo.  In 1988, the Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  In 1989, Starr was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series for his role as Mr. Conductor in the television show Shining Time Station.

Starr accepted a Diamond Award on behalf of the group at the 2008 World Music Awards.  In 2010, Ringo received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  In 2013, Starr was honored in France as he was awarded Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. 

Since 1989, Starr has toured with twelve different versions of Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.

In the seventies, Ringo sold over two million albums and had 13 hits, with seven of those reaching the Top 10.

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