Obviously, Ringo was one-quarter of the greatest musical and cultural phenomena of our times, The Beatles. He was justly recognized for that when The Beatles were honored in the first induction ceremony in 1988. Since then, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison have been inducted into the Hall as solo artists. It's time to induct Ringo Starr as a solo artist, in consideration of his impressive, post-Beatles achievements.
By 1973, Ringo was the most commercially successful of the four ex-Beatles with hits that included: Photograph (a #1 hit), It Don't Come Easy (a #4 hit), Back Off Boogaloo (a top-10 hit), Oh My My (a top-5 hit). All these songs were co-written by Ringo as well. Then, there's You're Sixteen (another #1 hit), The No-No Song (a #3 hit), Only You (a #6 hit) and the top-10 album, Goodnight Vienna. Speaking of Your Sixteen and Only You, how many artists can make past hits their very own? Ringo did on these two songs. George's interpretation of Got My Mind Set On You and John's Stand By Me are good, but Ringo's vocals made the aforementioned standards, hits for a second time. A rare feat.
The album Ringo went to #2 in November,1973. Many people consider this album to be the best of all the ex-Beatles albums. Each one of them participated in it and John even claims that all four appeared on his song I'm The Greatest. It's probably the closest thing we'll hear to what The Beatles would have sounded like after the break-up. Only Ringo could have gotten them all together on one project.
Ringo played on both John and George's best post-Beatles solo albums, Plastic Ono Band and All Things Must Pass, respectively. Thus, the best albums from 3 of 4 of the former Beatles, had Ringo on the drums. Ringo also played in the groundbreaking concert, The Concert For Bangladesh in 1971 and Martin Scorcese's popular 1978 paean to The Band, The Last Waltz.
David Haber, a leading scholar on The Beatles (check out his site WhatGoesOn.com) says, "Personally, I think Ringo Starr is the best rock 'n' roll drummer ever. More than any other rock drummer, he's always 'part of the sound' rather than just setting the beat, or worse yet, following it."
Ringo influenced rock and roll in ways outside of his drumming. Mark Hudson, Ringo's close friend and longtime producer recently told me for my upcoming documentary, tentatively titled Beatles Stories, how Ringo was really the one to invent The Beatles iconic head shake that Paul and George did that drove the multitudes crazy during their live performances -- "moves" that are de riguer even today. While Mark was producing Ringo's Vertical Man album, Paul was putting down a bass line and started shaking his head, his hair flying as he played. Ringo said to Mark, "there he goes again, shaking his head!" Curious, Mark asked what Ringo meant. Ringo replied, "I invented the head shake and Paul and George stole it from me. I had nothing to do but play drums so I thought I'd shake my head a little bit, while playing. Before I knew it, Paul and George were doing it too!"
Finally, Ringo is "RINGO" -- lovable, charming, real. The world is a better place for Ringo Starr and his ongoing spirit of "peace and love" that his very being brings to the planet. The only drummer known by just one name, Ringo is the father of rock drummers. For his music - as he wrote, sang, and performed it, Ringo Starr has earned and deserves his own plaque in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, next to his brothers, John, Paul and George.
Thank you for your consideration.
P.S. Tomorrow (July 7th) is Ringo's 66th birthday -- Happy Birthday, Ringo!