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Surviving Beatles Members Pay Tribute to Early Collaborator Tony Sheridan

Rob Verhorst/RedfernsThe surviving members of The Beatles have issued statements paying tribute to British singer/guitarist Tony Sheridan, who died Friday at the age of 72.  During The Beatles' formative years playing clubs in Hamburg, Germany, the band -- with Pete Best on drums -- served as Sheridan's backing group at its first-ever recording session in 1961 and also supported the singer at many gigs.

Paul McCartney posted a message on his official website that reads, "Tony was a good guy who we knew and worked with from the early days in Hamburg.  We regularly watched his late night performances and admired his style.  He will be missed."

Ringo Starr, who briefly played behind Sheridan when he filled in for Best in Hamburg prior to officially joining The Beatles, took to his Twitter to comment about Tony's passing.

"Just say goodbye to Tony Sheridan," he wrote.  "I had a great month [1960-1961] playing with him."

Best, meanwhile, also paid homage to Sheridan, tweeting, "Great guy and great memories.  I will miss you Tony.  RIP."

During The Beatles' recording sessions with Sheridan, seven songs were put on tape, including "My Bonnie" and "When the Saints Go Marching In."  A single featuring "My Bonnie" that was credited to Sheridan and the Beat Brothers was released in October 1961 in Germany; it then was issued in January 1962 in the U.K., credited to Sheridan and the Beatles.  In the wake of Beatlemania, the single finally was released in the U.S. in 1964 and reached #26 on the Billboard pop singles chart.

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