Ringo Starr -- "You Say it's Your Birthday"

Sometimes someone famous has a milestone birthday. And it's kind of a wakeup call for all of us - that time is flying by.

Well, it may not seem possible, but as CBS News senior business correspondent Anthony Mason tells us, a Beatle has just turned 70 years old.

The birthday party started in Times Square, and for longtime Beatles fans, the number might have been a little harder to face, if Ringo Starr didn't look so good at 70 years old.

As the impish drummer for the Beatles, Starr provided the backbeat for a tectonic shift in popular culture. When we first met him in 1964, he already had the nickname, "Ringo." How did he get the nickname? Starr pointed to the rings on his hands and said, "from all this on me fingers."

But he was born Richard Starkey in Liverpool, England. As a boy young Richie got an infection that put him in a coma. He spent his 7th birthday in the hospital.

In 1962, an ambitious Liverpool group needed a new drummer. John, Paul and George picked Ringo - and the greatest band in history was complete.

Ringo Starr's Interview with Anthony Mason
Watch the Beatles from 1964
Photos: Ringo Turns 70

"I'm your basic offbeat drummer," Starr has said in the past. But when he briefly quit the Beatles, fed up with the band's infighting, Paul McCartney sent him a postcard saying: "you are the greatest drummer in the world. Really."

Starr had a string of solo hits too. At 70, he is still playing:

"Well, you know musicians are in a great place 'cause they can go 'til they drop," he said.

He will celebrate his birthday tonight playing Radio City Music Hall Wednesday night with a little help from his friends: his "All-Star Band."

"What's the best part about still playing?" Mason asked.

Ringo replied, "playing with other musicians."

The musicians keep changing, but for Ringo the beat goes on.

  • Anthony Mason

    CBS News senior business and economics correspondent; Co-host, "CBS This Morning: Saturday"