Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr: Beatles Drummer Turns 77 Today, New Album And Fall Concert Tour Dates On The Way

Richard Starkey, better known to the world as Ringo Starr — the drummer in rock music’s most popular and influential band, The Beatles — was born on July 7, 1940, in a rough, working class area of Liverpool, England, known as The Dingle. As the living rock and roll legend celebrates his 77th birthday, however, he shows no signs of slowing down with a Las Vegas residency, a fall tour, and a new album all set for later this year.

Starr chose his 77th birthday to release some new details about his forthcoming album, to be titled Give More Love, and which will be released on September 15. The album will contain 10 new songs — plus re-recordings of four more songs, including some of Starr’s biggest hits from his immediate post-Beatles solo career in the 1970s.

In fact, two of the new tracks feature a Beatles mini-reunion, as Paul McCartney — Starr’s former bandmate in the iconic group and the only other surviving Beatle — features on the songs “Show Me The Way” and “We’re On The Road Again.” Of course, the Starr-McCartney collaboration was far from the first Beatles reunion, or at least partial reunion, since the group split in early 1970. For a list of several other noteworthy Beatles “reunions,” visit this link.

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr: Beatles Drummer Turns 77 Today, New Album, Fall Tour Dates On The way
A recent Beatles "reunion" as Paul McCartney (l) and Ringo Starr (r) perform at a "GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles" in Los Angeles in 2014. (Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The re-recorded songs on the upcoming Ringo Starr album include the Beatles tune “Don’t Pass Me By,” the first Beatles song — of only two — written solely by Starr. The country-tinged “Don’t Pass Me By” originally appeared on the classic 1968 double album The Beatles, better known as The White Album. But Starr actually wrote the song in 1964.

“I wrote ‘Don’t Pass Me By’ when I was sitting ’round at home,” Starr recalled in the 1995 Beatles Anthology television documentary. “I only play three chords on the guitar and three on the piano. I was fiddling with the piano. I just bang away, and then if a melody comes and some words, I just have to keep going. That’s how it happened. I was just sitting at home alone and Don’t Pass Me By arrived.”

Also on the new Give More Love album is a new version of Starr’s 1973 collaboration with another of his former Beatle bandmate, George Harrison. The song, “Photograph,” has been described by AllMusic as “among the very best post-Beatles songs by any of the Fab Four.”

In 2002, following Harrison’s death from cancer at age 58 the previous year, Starr performed “Photograph” at the memorial “Concert For George” in London, England. Watch a video of Starr’s performance there, below, with a band that included guitar great, and close friend of the Beatles, Eric Clapton, as well as Harrison’s son, Dhani Harrison.

Though the oldest member of the Beatles — Harrison, born in 1943, was the youngest — Starr was the last to join the band, replacing previous drummer Pete Best in 1962, shortly after The Beatles obtained their first recording contract, launching their extraordinary career.

Though Beatles fans in their hometown of Liverpool initially resented Starr for bumping the fan-favorite Best from the group, one fan even slugging Ringo and giving the drummer a black eye, the other three Beatles — McCartney, Harrison, and John Lennon — loved him and became devoted to him. Starr quickly became arguably the most popular member of the “Fab Four.” His comedic talent was on full display in the Beatles’ first two films, A Hard Day’s Night and Help — the latter of which effectively gave Starr the lead role.

Happy Birthday, Ringo Starr: Beatles Drummer Turns 77 Today, New Album, Fall Tour Dates On The way
The Beatles — George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and Paul McCartney — as they appeared in 1966 during their final United States tour. (Image by Daily Express/Getty Images)

Here are the dates for Ringo Starr’s concert tour later this year, backed by his “All-Starr Band,” leading off with a two-week residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada.

October 13-14, 17, 20-21, 24, 27-28 – Las Vegas, Nevada: Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
October 30 – El Paso, Texas: Abraham Chavez Theatre
October 31 – Austin Texas: Moody Theater
November 2 – Sugarland, Texas: Smart Sugarland Civic Center
November 4 – Thackerville, Oklahoma: Global Events Center at Winstar
November 7-8 – Ft Lauderdale, Florida: Parker Playhouse
November 11 – Atlanta, Georgia: Fox Theater
November 12 – Norfolk, Virginia: ODU Pavilion
November 14 – Morristown, New Jersey: Mayo Performing Arts Center
November 15 – New York, New York: Beacon Theater
November 16 – Newark, New Jersey: New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Starr’s new Give More Love album — his 18th solo studio album — will mark his first release in more than two years. The legendary Beatle drummer and sometime singer’s most recent previous album was Postcards From Paradise, released in March of 2015.

[Featured Image by Christian Augustin/Getty Images]