Ringo Starr’s Favorite Song Is a Lesser-Known Ray Charles Track


Ringo Starr influenced drummers for generations to come as an integral part of the Beatles sound. He wasn’t a flashy player behind the kit, but Ringo’s impressive drumming skills are hard to deny. He has favorite Beatles records, songs, and personal performances, but Ringo once said his favorite song was a little-known Ray Charles track.

(lr) Ringo Starr; Ray Charles | Brian Rasic/Getty Images; Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

Ringo has a favorite Beatles song and album

Ringo continues to tour with various iterations of his All Starr Band in order to promote his new solo work. Yet he will always be linked to his work with the Beatles. And when it comes to producing the Fab Four, Ringo has his favorites.

He once called the B-side song “Rain” a weird Beatles track because of his singularly unique drum work. Still, he called the song his favorite Fab Four song for the same reason.

Ringo’s drumming on “Polythene Pam”, “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” and “The End” are some of his best moments. Maybe that’s why he called Abbey Roadon the second side his favorite Beatles sequence.

Still, when it comes to Ringo’s favorite non-Beatles song, he once said that an obscure Ray Charles song topped his list.

Ringo Starr once said his favorite song was Ray Charles’ “Tell the Truth”

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Ray Charles sent 75 songs to the Billboard singles chart. This includes 11 top 10 hits and the No. 1 singles “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Georgia on My Mind”, and “Hit the Road Jack”. Charles’ “Tell the Truth” was never recorded, but Ringo once chose it as his favorite song.

“I love it, I love the live version. I’m still amazing,” the drummer told CBC (via Far) from “Tell the Truth” in 2005. Ringo also said that picking a favorite song from the hundreds of songs he’s loved over the years was nearly impossible. “To be honest, it’s very unfair because there are so many songs. People say, “Put in your top 10.” I can’t. I can not do that. It’s a very wide range of music that I like.

At the time of the interview, Ringo’s favorite song was “Tell the Truth”. He may have since changed his mind, but it’s not hard to see why the drummer has a soft spot for the live version of the song.

The live version of “Tell the Truth” is a song a drummer would love and clearly inspired Ringo’s playing.

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Ringo and the Beatles found inspiration in the music of Ray Charles. The American icon showed his love for the Fab Four by covering several of their songs on the album Ray Charles sings the Beatles. Paul McCartney once said he knew Ringo was the perfect drummer for the Beatles when he nailed a tricky Ray Charles song the first time he sat down with the band. The song wasn’t “Tell the Truth,” but it’s not hard to see why Ringo called it his favorite song.

Teagle Fleming’s live cut work has an intricate rhythm that uses every part of the kit. The snare tom-tom-tom-floor mix carries the beat early, but Fleming then uses the cymbal bell to keep things going about a minute into the song. Ringo said “Rain” was a standout Beatles song for him. When you compare this song to “Tell the Truth”, it’s not hard to hear the similarities between the two.

Ringo once said that his favorite song was the Ray Charles tune “Tell the Truth”. Whether or not he was telling the truth, the song clearly inspired his playing.

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