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Early Recordings from Ringo Starr’s Pre-Beatles Band Unearthed

Ringo Starr
Keystone / Hulton Archives / Getty Images

Before there were the Beatles, Richard Starkey was a group called Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. The drummer, who would go on to change his name to Ringo Starr, recorded with the band before joining the Fab Four, and now some of those early recordings have surfaced after more than 50 years.

The BBC reports that Iris Caldwell, singer Rory Storm’s sister, found the tapes in her cellar and that the music will finally be released later this month. Starr joined the Merseybeat pioneering band when he was 18 years old, but his participation with the group came to an end after he joined the Beatles several years later.

The group only released a pair of singles, including one produced by Brian Epstein in 1964, but the songs failed to chart. Sadly, Storm passed away in 1972 at the age of 34.

Caldwell says of her brother, “Rory was a performer. He wasn’t, like The Beatles, a brilliant songwriter. They called him ‘The Golden Boy’ and ‘Mr. Show Business.’ Rory was so far ahead of his time. He was doing glam rock then.”

The Rory Storm and the Hurricanes tapes include tracks recorded at the Jive Hive Club and at Storm’s house, which the singer referred to as “Stormsville.” The latter became a popular hangout for bands like the Beatles, who would come to play after The Cavern Club had shut down for the night.

Caldwell says she believes the tapes have been in a sealed box ever since they were recorded. Caldwell’s son, Adam F., who is a DJ, stated, “The quality of the tape left a bit to be desired. It was over half a century ago. But the spirit and the rawness suggest a whole scene waiting to happen. I am so proud that my uncle was, as has been suggested to me often, the father of the Liverpool sound.”

Aside from Starr and guitarist Lu Walters, the other members of the band have since passed away.

Next: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Ringo Starr

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