When Ringo was a Nashville star

Ringo Starr, whose Beatles gave country music the biggest punch in the gut since Elvis, was a country music fan. You could hear it when he sang a Buck Owens favorite, “Act Naturally,” with the Fab Four on their Help! album. Just two months after the Beatles broke up in 1970, he came to Nashville to record a country album. Beaucoups of Blues was the title, and therein lies a tale told very well in this week’s Nashville Scene.

Ringo recorded with an all-star Nashville cast, among them pedal steel legend Pete Drake, then studio guitarist Charlie Daniels, and D.J. Fontana, who had drummed for Elvis. Seems odd that someone else would drum for Ringo, but that’s the way they set it up. Another Elvis alumnus, guitar player Scotty Moore, was an engineer during the sessions.

I don’t think I would buy the album today, but its fun to listen to 30-second segments on iTunes. The cut that holds up the best, to my ears, is “Nashville Jam”–a song not included on the original album. Oddly enough, Ringo played the drums on that one.

This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.

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