Ringo Starr is 71

What do I do for Ringo’s birthday? I play Beatles cover albums.

I decided, for reasons not entirely known even to me, to mark the birthdays of both of the surviving Beatles each year.

In the case of Ringo Starr, he took a bit of heat for apparently dissing his hometown of Liverpool, England, a comment he said was just a joke. “I love Liverpool,” said the drummer on a recent UK TV interview. He and Liverpool have kissed and made up.

Ringo, who Paul McCartney believes should be knighted, is my daughter’s favorite Beatle, and the one Beatle she constantly identifies correctly in photos.

Did I ever mention how I play my Beatles music through the year?

In October, around John Lennon’s birthday, I play the canon, the British albums, as the group intended them, plus the Past Masters (mostly singles). For George’s birthday in February, I listen to my American albums; George was the first Beatle to come to the US, visiting his sister. June is Paul McCartney’s birthday, and I play that post-canon stuff, such as the BBC, the Anthologies, LOVE, and the like.

So what do I do for Ringo’s birthday? I play Beatles cover albums. There are a lot of them, and I have more than my share. Some are your standard compilations, but some have a single artist doing all Beatles tunes. Several take a particular album and recreate it, using several artists; usually put together by a magazine such as MOJO.

But sometimes, it’s just one artist covering an album. I have both Big Daddy and Cheap Trick doing Sgt. Pepper, and The Smithereens doing the first Capitol album, Meet the Beatles. I also have George Benson doing songs from Abbey Road, but he doesn’t cover the whole album.
Listen to some Beatles covers.

One of my favorite Beatles covers, ever: You’ve got to hide your love away – Joe Cocker