Richard Starkey was born on 7 July 1940 in Liverpool, the son of Elsie and Richard Starkey.[At age six Starkey developed appendicitis and in 1953 he contracted tuberculosis and was admitted to a sanatorium, where he remained for two years. During his stay there he made an effort to relieve boredom by joining the hospital band that lead to his first exposure to drums. It was his step father Harry Graves that introduced his son to recordings of big bands from America. After the extended hospital stay following Starkey’s recovery from tuberculosis his new father gave him a second-hand drum set consisting of a snare drum, a bass drum and the lid of a trash can used as a cymbal as Richard began to appreciate American rock and roll in the late 1950’s.
In 1959 Richard Starkey became Ringo Starr and was also influenced by American country artists, Buck Owens, Hank Snow and Hank Williams. In the early1960’s Ringo became the drummer with The Beatles performing with the band in 1962 as “Love Me Do” and “Please Please me” landed on the UK Hit Parade. By the end of the year, the phenomenon known as Beatlemania had spread throughout the country, and by February 1964 the Beatles had become an international success, performing on The Ed Sullivan Show to a record 73 million viewers. In 1966, the Beatles released the song “Yellow Submarine”, which featured Ringo as the lead singer and in 1967 he sang lead vocals on “With A Little Help from My Friends” and the Buck Owens classic, “Act Naturally.”
In September 1969 John Lennon announced he was going solo and in 1970 Paul McCartney did the same. Meanwhile Ringo Starr co-wrote with George Harrison his first solo chart topper in 1971, “It Don’t Come Easy,” followed by “Back of Boogaloo” in 1972. “Photograph” and “You’re Sixteen” went gold in 1973. A year later “On My My” and “Only You” topped the American Hit Parade with “No No Song” following in 1975.
Ringo Starr was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007 and in 2010 gained a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Capitol Towers building in Hollywood.