The Beatles: “Love Me Do”. Did Ringo Play on their First Single?

The Beatles first single, "Love Me Do"
The Beatles first single "Love Me Do"
The Beatles “Love Me Do”

5TH OCTOBER 1962: THE BEATLES FIRST SINGLE IISSUED ITHE UK

After the first session with George Martin on 4th September 1962, Martin decided to bring in a session drummer. As a result, Andy White was recruited for the second session a week later.

“RINGO DIDN’T DRUM ON THE FIRST SINGLE”

Paul was convinced that Ringo didn’t play drums on the group’s first Parlophone single, “Love Me Do” – and Ringo agreed. But, history has shown that he was indeed on the UK single release. Considering that Andy White was hired to drum on the recording, there are questions. Was Ringo’s version mistakenly released on the UK single? After all, the White version of “Love Me Do” appeared on The Beatles’ debut studio album Please Please Me, the UK EP release The Beatles’ Hits, and also on their U.S. single release.

“Love Me Do” The Beatles’ first single released on 5th October 1962

WAS IT RELEASED BY MISTAKE? ANY EVIDENCE?

If the Ringo version wasn’t considered good enough after 4th September, why release that first version? Neither George Martin nor Ron Richards were sure if it was selected intentionally or not.

Releases of “Love Me Do” issued after The Beatles’ Hits on 21st September 1963 contained Andy White’s version. Why? The original master recording of Ringo’s version of “Love Me Do” destroyed or recorded over. EMI only had Andy White’s 11th September recording to use. It was the only remaining – and arguably the superior – version. When “Love Me Do” was released in the U.S. in April 1964, it was Andy White’s version that was used.

MCARTNEY NOT MCCARTNEY!

A further mistake was made when 250 promo discs of “Love Me Do” were released, misspelling Paul’s name as McArtney; something he was used to in Mersey Beat. One of these discs was sold in October 2017 for $14,757, the most expensive 7-inch single ever sold.

50TH ANNIVERSARY MISTAKE?

In a twist of fate – or was it an inside joke – when Apple decided to reissue “Love Me Do” on the 50th anniversary, they initially used Andy White’s version. They then had to quickly recall those records, so that Ringo’s version could be issued.

The final piece of evidence is one of omission. With the group’s popularity increasing, why did they not ask Ringo to re-record “Love Me Do” for the album? The conclusion is that Ringo’ version was most likely released by accident. That is not uncommon in the recording industry, even today. Nothing else really makes sense.

Excerpt from Finding the Fourth Beatle the story of the 23 drummers who put the beat into The Beatles

David Bedford

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