Andy White (drummer)

Last updated

Andy White
Andy White (drummer).jpg
White at Skidmore College in 2006
Background information
Birth name Andrew White
Born(1930-07-27)27 July 1930
Glasgow, Scotland
Died 9 November 2015(2015-11-09) (aged 85)
Caldwell, New Jersey, U.S.
Genres Pop/rock, rock and roll, swing
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums, percussion
Years active 1950s–1970s
Associated acts The Beatles
The Smithereens

Andrew White (27 July 1930 – 9 November 2015) was a Scottish drummer, primarily a session musician. He was named one of the "fifth Beatles" [1] as he is best known for replacing Ringo Starr on drums on the Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do". [2] White was featured on the American 7" single release of the song, which also appeared on the band's debut British album, Please Please Me . He also played on "P.S. I Love You", which was the B-side of "Love Me Do". [3] [4]

The fifth Beatle is an informal title that various commentators in the press and entertainment industry have applied to people who were at one point a member of the Beatles, or who had a strong association with the "Fab Four" during the group's existence. The "fifth Beatle" claims first appeared in the press immediately upon the band's rise to global fame in 1963–64. The members have offered their own beliefs of the "fifth Beatle":

Ringo Starr British musician, drummer of the Beatles

Sir Richard Starkey, known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles. He occasionally sang lead vocals, usually for one song on an album, including "With a Little Help from My Friends", "Yellow Submarine", "Good Night", and their cover of "Act Naturally". He also wrote the Beatles' songs "Don't Pass Me By" and "Octopus's Garden", and is credited as a co-writer of others, including "What Goes On" and "Flying".

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became regarded as the foremost and most influential music band in history. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to pop music's evolution into an art form and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated classical elements, older pop forms and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and later experimented with several musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As the members continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they were seen as an embodiment of the era's sociocultural movements.

Contents

White played with other prominent musicians and groups both in the United Kingdom and the United States, including Chuck Berry, Billy Fury, Herman's Hermits and Tom Jones. AllMusic called White "one of the busier drummers in England from the late '50s through the mid-'70s". [2]

Chuck Berry American rock-and-roll guitarist, singer, songwriter

Charles Edward Anderson Berry was an American singer, songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Billy Fury English musician

Ronald Wycherley, better known by his stage name Billy Fury, was an English singer from the late 1950s to the mid 1960s, and remained an active songwriter until the 1980s. Rheumatic fever, which he first contracted as a child, damaged his heart and ultimately contributed to his death. An early British rock and roll star, he equalled the Beatles' record of 24 hits in the 1960s, and spent 332 weeks on the UK chart, without a chart-topping single or album.

Hermans Hermits band

Herman's Hermits are an English beat rock band, formed in Manchester in 1964.

Early life and early career

Andy White was born in Glasgow on 27 July 1930, the son of a baker. At the age of 12, he started playing drums in a pipe band, and became a professional session musician at the age of 17. In the 1950s and early 1960s, White played drums with a number of swing and traditional jazz groups and musicians. [2] [1] In 1958 he formed a big band jazz outfit and took it to the American Northeast where he backed rockers like Chuck Berry, the Platters and Bill Haley & His Comets.

Glasgow City and council area in Scotland

Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, and the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the local authority is Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as "Glaswegians" or "Weegies". It is the fourth most visited city in the UK. Glasgow is also known for the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect of the Scots language that is noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city.

Pipe band class of musical ensembles

A pipe band is a musical ensemble consisting of pipers and drummers. The term used by military pipe bands, pipes and drums, is also common.

Session musician profession; musician hired to perform in recording sessions or live performances

Session musicians, studio musicians, or backing musicians are musicians hired to perform in recording sessions or live performances. Session musicians are usually not permanent members of a musical ensemble or band. They work behind the scenes and rarely achieve individual fame in their own right as soloists or bandleaders. However, top session musicians are well known within the music industry, and some have become publicly recognized, such as the Wrecking Crew and Motown's The Funk Brothers.

White said, "We used some big band arrangements and put a back beat to it to fit in with the rock 'n' roll thing. I got the chance to hear rock 'n' roll in the flesh. That was where I got a good idea about what it was supposed to happen, drumwise." [1] In 1960 in London White recorded with Billy Fury on Fury's first album, The Sound of Fury , which is generally regarded as Britain's first rock and roll album. [2]

<i>The Sound of Fury</i> (album) 1960 studio album by Billy Fury

The Sound of Fury was the first album released by Billy Fury in 1960. Described as "the best rock & roll album to come out of England's original beat boom of the late 1950s". Fury was arguably the first British rock 'n roll artist to write his own songs, sometimes under the pseudonym Wilbur Wilberforce.

Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, along with country music. While elements of what was to become rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until 1954.

In the early 1960s White lived in Thames Ditton and was married to the British Decca artist Lyn Cornell, who later became a member of the Vernons Girls, the Pearls, and also the Carefrees, who had the biggest selling Beatles novelty single ever with "We Love You Beatles," peaking in the U.S. at No. 39 and staying on the Billboard charts for five weeks. [5] [6]

Thames Ditton village in United Kingdom

Thames Ditton is a suburban village by and on the River Thames, in the Elmbridge borough of Surrey, England. Apart from a large inhabited island in the river, it lies on the southern bank, centred 12.2 miles (19.6 km) southwest of Charing Cross in central London. Thames Ditton is just outside Greater London but within the Greater London Urban Area as defined by the Office for National Statistics. Its clustered village centre and shopping area on a winding High Street is surrounded by housing, schools and sports areas. Its riverside faces the Thames Path and Hampton Court Palace Gardens and golf course in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Its most commercial area is spread throughout its conservation area and contains restaurants, cafés, shops and businesses.

Decca Records US/British record label

Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis, along with American Decca's first president Jack Kapp and later American Decca president Milton Rackmil. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca and the link between the UK and U.S. Decca labels was broken for several decades. The British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre. Both wings are now part of the Universal Music Group, which is owned by Vivendi, a media conglomerate headquartered in Paris, France. The US Decca label was the foundation company that evolved into UMG.

Lyn Cornell, sometimes billed as Lynn Cornell is an English pop and jazz singer. She is best known for her membership of The Vernons Girls, The Carefrees and The Pearls, having had at least one chart hit with each group, and as a solo artist with a Top 30 UK hit to her name.

The Beatles

In September 1962, White received a call from producer Ron Richards asking him to attend a Beatles recording session at the EMI Studios at Abbey Road in London. Richards was record producer George Martin's assistant at the time and had used White in the past. The Beatles had recorded "Love Me Do" twice already: at an EMI audition on 6 June 1962 with Pete Best on drums when he was still a member of the group; and again on 4 September 1962 with Ringo Starr on drums, Starr having replaced Best the previous month. [7]

Ron Richards was a British record producer, manager and promoter, best known for discovering The Hollies.

Abbey Road Studios recording studio in London, England

Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio at 3 Abbey Road, St John's Wood, City of Westminster, London, England. It was established in November 1931 by the Gramophone Company, a predecessor of British music company EMI, which owned it until Universal Music took control of part of EMI in 2013.

George Martin English record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer and musician

Sir George Henry Martin, was an English record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer, and musician. He was referred to as the "Fifth Beatle" in reference to his extensive involvement on each of the Beatles' original albums. Martin produced 30 number-one hit singles in the United Kingdom and 23 number-one hits in the United States.

Martin had disapproved of Best's drumming and was now also unhappy with newcomer Starr's drumming. [8] On 11 September 1962 Richards, who was in charge of recording that day, wanted the song recorded again, and the Beatles played "Love Me Do" a third time, this time with White replacing Starr on drums and Starr relegated to playing tambourine. [2] [5] "P.S. I Love You" was also recorded during this session with White playing a "lightweight cha-cha-chá beat" [9] on bongos rather than drums [10] [ page needed ] and Starr playing maracas. [11] White says he was paid £5 for the session and 10/- (50p) for bringing his drum kit, [12] [13] and did not earn any royalties from the sale of the records. [5] [14]

The version of "Love Me Do" with Starr playing drums was used on the early British pressings of the single in 1962. The version with White playing drums was used on the first American pressings of the single in 1964, all later releases of the single, on the Beatles' debut British album, Please Please Me , in 1963, and most subsequent albums that included the song. [3] [4] The version with Starr on drums has also been reissued on occasion; it appeared on the Rarities (1980) compilation, which was released in North America, and received worldwide release on the Past Masters compilation in 1988. [3] [15]

A 1992 single included both the Starr and White versions. An easy way to distinguish between the two versions is that White's version features Starr on tambourine; Starr's version does not include a tambourine. [11] The Pete Best version of the song, initially thought to be lost, was released for the first time on Anthology 1 (1995). "P.S. I Love You", with White drumming, was released on the "B" side of the "Love Me Do" single, and on the Please Please Me album. [3]

In a 2012 BBC interview, White claimed that during the 11 September session he also played on a recording of "Please Please Me", and this performance was used on the hit single: "From the drum sound I can tell that I was on it, because it was a vastly different sound to Ringo's drumset at that time. This was before he got the Ludwig kit. Each drummer gets an individual sound, first of all by the way they tune the drums and then by the way they play the drums." [12] [13]

This was the only time White played with the Beatles, but it was enough to get him "into the history books", [2] and the distinction of being one of the so-called "fifth Beatles". [1] White said that on that day in the studio the only members of the Beatles he worked with were Paul McCartney and John Lennon, because they were the songwriters. "They didn't use any written music, and what I had to do was play the routines with them to get an idea what they wanted before we could even start recording." [1]

Other projects

Later, White played on hit records by Herman's Hermits, on Tom Jones's hit song "It's Not Unusual" and on "Shout" by Lulu. [16] He also worked with many other musicians and groups, including Rod Stewart, Anthony Newley, Bert Weedon and the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra in Glasgow. In the mid-1960s White toured the United States with Marlene Dietrich and performed in her cabaret shows, under the musical direction of the then-unknown composer Burt Bacharach, [2] [4] [1] and, from 1965 until he retired in 1975, the British pianist and composer William Blezard.

White played drums on "P.S. I Love You" again in 2008, this time on a version by a New Jersey-based rock band, the Smithereens. In 2007 the band had recorded Meet the Smithereens! , a tribute to the Beatles, covering their entire Meet the Beatles! album. After Beatles expert Tom Frangione [1] introduced White to the band, they asked White to record with them on their next Beatles tribute album at their House of Vibes recording studio in Highland Park. White's drumming on "P.S. I Love You" was released late in 2008 on B-Sides the Beatles, an album of Beatles B-side covers from 1962 to 1965. [17] White also played drums with the Smithereens in May 2008 at a We Get By with a Little Help From Our Friends charity health-care fundraiser at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. [1]

In the late 1980s White moved to United States and lived in Caldwell, New Jersey, where he taught Scottish pipe band drumming. [18] He was also a judge for the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA), and drum instructor for the New York City Department of Corrections Emerald Pipe Band. He was married to Thea White, a librarian who supplied the voice of Muriel on the Cartoon Network show Courage the Cowardly Dog . White had a bumper sticker on his car that reads "5THBEATLE". He said that "One of my students gave that to me." [1]

Death

White died after a stroke in Caldwell, New Jersey on 9 November 2015 at the age of 85. [16] [19]

Related Research Articles

<i>Please Please Me</i> 1963 studio album by the Beatles

Please Please Me is the debut studio album by the English rock band the Beatles. Parlophone rush-released the album on 22 March 1963 in the United Kingdom to capitalise on the success of the band's singles "Please Please Me" and "Love Me Do". The album topped Record Retailer's LP chart for 30 weeks, an unprecedented achievement for a pop album at that time.

<i>Anthology 1</i> 1995 compilation album by the Beatles

Anthology 1 is a compilation album by the Beatles, released on 20 November 1995 by Apple Records as part of The Beatles Anthology series. It features rarities, outtakes and live performances from the period 1958–1964, including songs with original bass player Stuart Sutcliffe and drummer Pete Best. It is the first in a trilogy of albums with Anthology 2 and Anthology 3, all of which tie in with the televised special The Beatles Anthology. It contains "Free as a Bird", billed as the first new Beatles song in 25 years. The album topped the Billboard 200 album chart and was certified 8x Platinum by the RIAA.

Love Me Do original song written and composed by Lennon-McCartney

"Love Me Do" is the debut single by the English rock band the Beatles, backed by "P.S. I Love You". When the single was originally released in the United Kingdom on 5 October 1962, it peaked at number 17. In 1982 it was re-promoted and reached number four. It was released in the United States in 1964, where it became a number one hit.

Cant Buy Me Love original song written and composed by Lennon-McCartney

"Can't Buy Me Love" is a song composed by Paul McCartney and released by the Beatles on the A-side of their sixth British single, with "You Can't Do That" as the B-side, in March 1964. In September 2015, the Beatles donated the use of their recording of the song to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for a television commercial.

Thank You Girl original song written and composed by Lennon-McCartney

"Thank You Girl" is a song recorded by the Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (Lennon–McCartney), and issued as the B-side of the single "From Me to You", which was recorded on the same day. While not released on an LP in the United Kingdom until Rarities in 1978, the song was the second track on The Beatles' Second Album in the United States. As the B-side of the single "Do You Want to Know a Secret", it hit No. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1964.

Please Please Me (song) original song written and composed by Lennon-McCartney

"Please Please Me" is a song released by English rock group the Beatles. It was their second single in the United Kingdom, and their first in the United States. It was also the title track of their first LP, which was recorded to capitalise on the success of the single. It was originally a John Lennon composition, although its ultimate form was significantly influenced by George Martin. John Lennon: "Please Please Me is my song completely. It was my attempt at writing a Roy Orbison song, would you believe it? I wrote it in the bedroom in my house at Menlove Avenue, which was my auntie's place".

Dont Pass Me By original song written and composed by Richard Starkey a.k.a. Ringo Starr

"Don't Pass Me By" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from the double album The Beatles. It was the first solo composition by Ringo Starr.

All Ive Got to Do original song written and composed by Lennon-McCartney

"All I've Got to Do" is a song written by John Lennon and performed by English rock group the Beatles on their second British album, With the Beatles. In the United States, "All I've Got to Do" originally appeared on Meet the Beatles!. According to Dennis Alstrand, this song is the first time in rock and roll or rock music where the bass player plays chords as a vital part of the song.

I Saw Her Standing There original song written and composed by Lennon-McCartney

"I Saw Her Standing There" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles credited to Paul McCartney and John Lennon, but written primarily by McCartney. It is the opening track on the band's 1963 debut album Please Please Me.

Ask Me Why original song written and composed by Lennon-McCartney

"Ask Me Why" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles originally released in the United Kingdom as the B-side of their hit single "Please Please Me". It was also included on their first UK album, Please Please Me.

P.S. I Love You (Beatles song) 1962 single by The Beatles

"P.S. I Love You" is a song recorded by English rock band The Beatles in 1962. It was composed principally by Paul McCartney, and produced by Ron Richards. The song was released in the UK on 5 October 1962 as the B-side of their debut single "Love Me Do" and is also included on their debut album Please Please Me (1963). It was later included on the American release Introducing The Beatles (1964), its reissue The Early Beatles (1965), and the Beatles compilation album Love Songs (1977).

Do You Want to Know a Secret original song written and composed by Lennon-McCartney

"Do You Want to Know a Secret" is a song by English rock group the Beatles from their 1963 album Please Please Me, sung by George Harrison. In the United States, it was the first top ten song to feature Harrison as a lead singer, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard chart in 1964 as a single released by Vee-Jay, VJ 587.

<i>Birth of the Beatles</i> 1979 biopic film directed by Richard Marquand

Birth of the Beatles is a 1979 biopic film, produced by Dick Clark's company and directed by Richard Marquand. The film was released into cinemas worldwide except in the United States, where it was shown as a TV film on ABC. The film focuses on the early history of the Beatles. It was released nine years after the announced break-up of the Beatles themselves, and is the only Beatles biopic to be made while John Lennon was still alive. Pete Best, the Beatles' original drummer, served as a technical advisor for the production.

The Vernons Girls were an English musical ensemble of female vocalists. They were formed at the Vernons football pools company in the 1950s in Liverpool, settling down to a sixteen strong choir and recording an album of standards.

"Boys" is a song by Luther Dixon and Wes Farrell, originally performed by the Shirelles and released as the B-side of their "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" single in November 1960. It was recorded more than two years later by the Beatles and included on their first album released in the United Kingdom, Please Please Me (1963).

The Beatles first UK nationwide tour lasted from 2 February 1963 until 3 March 1963. The Beatles were fourth on an eleven-act bill headed by 16-year-old Londoner, Helen Shapiro. Other acts on the tour were the Red Price Band, The Kestrels, The Honeys(UK), Dave Allen, Kenny Lynch and Danny Williams. They were also joined briefly by Billie Davis during the latter part of the tour.

<i>B-Sides The Beatles</i> 2008 studio album by The Smithereens

B-Sides The Beatles is the ninth studio album by The Smithereens, released 2 September 2008 on Koch Records. The album features the band covering Beatles B-sides released in America in 1964 and early 1965.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Jordan, Chris (23 May 2008). "'Fifth Beatle' Andy White is still keeping time". myCentralJersey.com. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Eder, Bruce. "Andy White". AllMusic . Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Ingham 2003, p. 18.
  4. 1 2 3 Marck, John T. "Love Me Do". I Am The Beatles. Archived from the original on 19 December 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  5. 1 2 3 "Who backed The Beatles?". Something Books. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  6. Harry, Bill, Bigger than the Beatles, p.195–196
  7. Dunn, Brad (2006). When They Were 22: 100 Famous People at the Turning Point in Their Lives. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 143. ISBN   0-7407-5810-1.
  8. Thompson, Gordon (2008). Please Please Me: Sixties British Pop, Inside Out (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 63. ISBN   0-19-533318-7.
  9. MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN   1-84413-828-3.
  10. Margotin & Guesdon 2014.
  11. 1 2 Cross, Craig (2005). The Beatles: Day-by-day, Song-by-song, Record-by-record. iUniverse. p. 399. ISBN   0-595-34663-4.
  12. 1 2 "Love Me Do: The Beatles '62". BBC Four. 7 October 2012.
  13. 1 2 "Love Me Do: The Beatles '62 (excerpt)". 9 October 2012.
  14. Harry, Bill (2000). The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia. MJF Books. ISBN   1-56731-403-1.
  15. Ingham 2003, p. 88.
  16. 1 2 "Andy White, early Beatles drummer, dies aged 85". BBC News. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  17. Borack, John M (2 January 2009). "B-Sides the Beatles". BNet. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  18. Racioppi, Joseph. "Caldwell resident has big Beatles connection", The Progress, 17 September 2009. Accessed 31 January 2011.
  19. "Andy White, a Beatle for less than 5 minutes, dies at 85". Los Angeles Times . 12 November 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2016.

Works cited