Photo credit: Lorne Greene / MeTv.com

During the time when it is almost impossible to beat the one regarded as the foremost and most influential music band, The Beatles, Lorne Greene did it. Greene is best remembered for his role as Ben Cartwright on the ’60s TV show Bonanza. Although the Canadian-born actor was a non-Beatle member, his big hit “Ringo” was inspired by the band’s famous drummer, Ringo Starr. Starr became so popular for the reason that he’s part of The Beatles. His popularity then prompted the release of “Ringo” as a single, though the song was never about him. During a promotional talk, Greene clarified the confusion between his song character and Ringo of The Beatles. He assured the audience that the song is totally not about him.

About the Song

“Ringo” is a ballad about a gunfighter in the old west. Songwriters Don Robertson and Hal Blair owned the credits for its lyrics. Most of its wording was spoken in the first-person point of view. The only sung part was the title word with its performers still unidentified up to now. They presumed it to be either The Jordanaires or the Mello Men. The narrator tells the relationship between a Western lawman and Ringo, a notorious gunfighter. The story of a known Western outlaw by the name of Johnny Ringo was, likewise, not related to the song. Their accounts are entirely different from each other.

On December 5, 1964, two months after the track’s release, it topped both the US Billboard and Easy Listening chart. The song stayed on the chart’s topmost position for six weeks. On the Hot Country Singles chart, “Ringo” peaked at No. 21. From the singer’s hometown, as expected, the song was a No. 1 hit on the RPM Top Singles chart.

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