On this Friday night, let’s talk about Ringo

Ah, Friday night. Best night of the week! Regular readers will know that I often devote Fridays to musically themed posts, because I figure that both you good people and I need a diversion that doesn’t require too much brain power, or reading, at the end of a long work week. On Friday night, it’s nice to just sit back and relax and listen to some music.

On this particular Friday night, I’d like to feature a friend of us all (that last bit being a turn of phrase that George Harrison used to introduce Bob Dylan at the Concert for Bangladesh; thanks, George): Mr. Ringo Starr.

Why Ringo? Well, mainly because his classic song Photograph has, for some unknown reason, been running around in my head, day and night, for much of the past week. (Click on the video at the top of this post and it can be running around in your head too!) It’s a song I hadn’t thought of in many a year, and suddenly I can’t stop humming it. I know it well because it was played often by everyone’s (well, everyone around here, anyway) favourite 1970s radio DJ, Joey Edwards, on CJBQ-AM (Belleville and TREN-TONNNNN!, as the jingle went) back when it was a new release in 1973. Which just happens to be the era when I was a young teenager right here at the Manse in Queensborough, tuning in to the hits Joey played every weeknight on his popular show. (Would you like to know more about Joey Edwards – who, I am very proud to say, is a reader of Meanwhile, at the Manse – and how I made contact with him after all these years? Click here. And for a little more, here.)

And thinking about Photograph, and what a simple but great pop classic it was, and is, got me also thinking about some of Ringo’s other post-Beatles hits, which also coincided with the years when I was a kid here in this house that, through a happy chain of circumstances, I now live in once again with my wonderful husband, Raymond.

After the Beatles busted up, Ringo had quite a good run, I have to say. Let’s take a little trip back. There was the oddball hit (written by the wondrous Hoyt Axton, whom I previously featured here) The No No Song:

And the wackadoodle Goodnight Vienna:

And the even more wackadoodle Snookeroo:

And I don’t even know what to say about Back Off Boogaloo:

And then finally, there is the utterly, indisputably great It Don’t Come Easy:

Ringo! That guy brought a lot of joy into people’s lives as the clowning but talented drummer in that British band that we’ve all heard of. But you know, in the first half of the 1970s – a great time, and I don’t care who hears me say it – he also brought us some fantastic music all on his own. Music that brings back good memories – and more to the point, makes me hum along. I hope it gets you humming too. Because, you know –

Every time I see your face it reminds me of the places we used to go …

7 thoughts on “On this Friday night, let’s talk about Ringo

  1. Hi Katherine! Love your “musical” comments with which, of course, I can certainly identify. In case you weren’t aware, the Ringo song, “Back Off Boogaloo” was a jab at Paul McCartney who at the time was not pleasing Mr. Starkey. “Boogaloo” was the the nickname he had given Paul.

    • I did not know that, Joe(y) – interesting! Always an honour to have the guy who spun the records on the radio back then commenting when I write about some of the great music that we all enjoyed back then – Boogaloo and all.

  2. Ringo’s version of the Sherman Brothers’ You’re Sixteen from that period is also pretty great, with McCartney imitating a kazoo (the Boogaloo rift having healed by then) and Harry Nilsson contributing the backing vocals. But get a load of this much later (1989) video with the late, great Buck Owens, reprising a song with which both had scored hits just before your Manse 1.0 period.

    • Oh my goodness, how could I have left out You’re Sixteen? That was a huge hit on the high-school jukebox in 1973, in my Manse 1.0 years. And yeah, it was a great song – though I hope Ringo doesn’t still perform it. Even in 1973, when he was 33, it was, when you think of it, a bit off-putting that he was warbling, “You’re sixteen; you’re beautiful; and you’re mine!” (“All mine, all mine, all mine,” added the background singers. All a tad Nabokovian.)

      As for the video of Ringo and Buck Owens (and how did I not know that Buck had shuffled off this mortal coil?) doing Act Naturally: classic!

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