Friday 7 July 2023


In 1963, Ringo Starr wrote his first song and sang it, for The Beatles. Originally called “This is Some Friendly,” the title was later changed to “Don’t Pass Me By.”

The song was later released on The Beatles‘ The White Album in 1968. The country-bent song told the story of someone begging a love.

Though Ringo also wrote and co-wrote a number of songs for The Beatles, including “Octopus’s Garden,” “What Goes On,” “Maggie Mae,” “Dig It,” and “Flying,” when it came to “Don’t Pass Me By,” it took four years before it was recorded and released by The Beatles. The song was first mentioned in a 1964 interview with the band on the BBC radio show Top Gear. When Starr was asked if would write any songs for The Beatles, Paul McCartney interjected with his “Don’t Pass Me By” lyrics singing Don’t pass me by / Don’t make me cry / Don’t make me blue.

“I wrote ‘Don’t Pass Me By’ when I was sitting around at home,” said Ringo. “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.”

Starr added, “I was just sitting at home alone, and ‘Don’t Pass Me By’ arrived. We played it with a country attitude. It was great to get my first song down, one that I had written. It was a very exciting time for me and everyone was really helpful, and recording that crazy violinist was a thrilling moment.”

The song was first recorded under the working title “Ringo’s Tune (Untitled)” and then later as “This Is Some Friendly” before being christened with its final title.

“Don’t Pass Me By” wasn’t Starr’s only exploration into country music. In 1965, Ringo co-wrote along with John Lennon and McCartney, the country-tipped song “What Goes On” for The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album. The Beatles also recorded a cover of the classic country song on their fifth album, Help! in 1965 with Ringo on lead vocals.
Ringo also released his country and western-influenced solo album, Beaucoups of Blues in 1970, and added more country twang to “So Wrong For So Long,” which he co-wrote with Dave Stewart for his 2017 album Give More Love.

In 1989, Ringo recorded the song “Act Naturally” as a duet with the late country legend Buck Owens (1929-2006) which hit the top 40. Originally written by Johnny Russell and first recorded by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, the song hit No. 1 on the country chart in 1963.

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