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Andy White Dies: 'Fifth Beatle' One of Band's Early Drummers

Image: Andy White Dies: 'Fifth Beatle' One of Band's Early Drummers
(Andy White Family Archive)

By    |   Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 06:40 AM

Andy White, one of a handful of "fifth Beatles" who played drums for the band on early hits, died Monday following a stroke. He was at 85.

White was chosen to play drums on the Beatles' hit "Love Me Do" and its b-side "P.S. I Love You," according to the BBC News. He also performed on the album version of "Please Please Me," some believe.

He laid claim to the title of the "fifth Beatle" along with Pete Best and others before the band made Ringo Starr their permanent drummer.

"'Love Me Do' was initially recorded during the group's EMI audition in June 1962 with Pete Best on drums," wrote Daniel Kreps of Rolling Stone magazine. "Three months later, after the Beatles signed their contract, new drummer Ringo Starr performed on the song during a Sept. 4, 1962 session, but producer George Martin was unhappy with the results.

"A veteran session drummer, White was then called in to play drums during the Sept. 11 session at EMI Studios at Abbey Road. … Starr still featured on both songs, however, playing tambourine on 'Love Me Do' and maracas on 'P.S. I Love You.'" 

White performed on Lulu's 1964 cover of "Shout" and 1965's "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones, said BBC News. He played with the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra and toured with Marlene Dietrich, Burt Bacharach and Rod Stewart.

White told New Jersey's The Progress in 2009 that, as a studio musician, he was paid a fee for his session with the Beatles and no royalties, which was common at the time. Beatles author Bill Harry said White was paid 57 pounds, or roughly $114, for the session.

White, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, moved to New Jersey in 1983 after marrying actress Thea Ruth. The two met in Dallas a decade before. Ruth was the voice of Muriel on "Courage the Cowardly Dog" on the Cartoon Network.

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Andy White, one of a handful of "fifth Beatles" who played drums for the band on early hits, died Monday following a stroke. He was at 85.
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2015-40-12
Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 06:40 AM
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