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You're Sixteen

"You're Sixteen"
Single by Johnny Burnette
from the album Johnny Burnette
B-side "I Beg Your Pardon"
Released 1960
Format 7"
Genre Rock
Length 1:56
Label Liberty (U.S.)
London (UK)
Writer(s) Robert B. Sherman, Richard M. Sherman
Producer(s) Snuff Garrett
Johnny Burnette singles chronology
"You're Sixteen"
"Little Boy Sad"

"You're Sixteen" is a song written by the Sherman Brothers (Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman). It was first performed by American rockabilly singer Johnny Burnette, whose version peaked at number eight on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in December 1960 and number 3 in the U.K. in 1961.[1] The original 1960 version of "You're Sixteen" by Johnny Burnette is featured prominently on the 1973 motion picture soundtrack of the film American Graffiti.


  • Personnel 1
  • Ringo Starr version 2
  • Other covers 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The personnel on the Johnny Burnette version included:

  • Bobby Gibbons - guitar
  • Vincent Terri - guitar
  • Red Callender - bass
  • Ernie Freeman - piano
  • Jerry Allison - drums
  • Alvin Dinkin - viola
  • Stanley Harris - viola
  • Dave Berman - violin
  • Herman Clebanoff - violin
  • Harold Dicterow - violin
  • Ben "Benny" Gill - violin
  • Irma Newman - violin
  • Joe Stepansky - violin
  • Darrel Terwilliger - violin
  • Gerald Vinci - violin

Ringo Starr version

"You're Sixteen"
UK picture sleeve
Single by Ringo Starr
from the album Ringo
B-side "Devil Woman"
Released 3 December 1973 (US)
8 February 1974 (UK)
Format 7"
Recorded September 1973
Genre Rock and roll, country
Length 2:46
Label Apple
Producer(s) Richard Perry
Certification Gold (US)[2]
Silver (UK)[3]
Ringo Starr singles chronology
"You're Sixteen"
"Oh My My"
Ringo track listing

Ringo Starr's version was released as a single in the US,[nb 1] on 3 December 1973, and in the UK,[nb 2] on 8 February 1974.[6] In January 1974, the song, taken from the album Ringo, hit number one. The latter performance reunited Ringo Starr with his former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney. McCartney is credited on the liner notes of the album Ringo as having played the solo on a kazoo. But reviewer Michael Verity has quoted the song's producer, Richard Perry, as revealing it wasn't actually a kazoo. “In fact, the solo on ‘You’re Sixteen,’ which sounds like a kazoo or something, was Paul singing very spontaneously as we played that track back, so he’s singing the solo on that.”[7] In any case, Starr's version remains one of the few #1 singles to feature a 'kazoo-sound' solo. Harry Nilsson sang backing vocals on Starr's version.

The 1978 video of Starr's version features Carrie Fisher as Starr's love interest.

Other covers

The song title has been the subject of musical parody by various performers, from Australian punk rock band Frenzal Rhomb's "She's Sixty, She's Beautiful and She's Mine" to Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly's "You're 39, You're Beautiful and You're Mine". A reference to "You're Sixteen" is made in the title of Cold Chisel's EP You're Thirteen, You're Beautiful, and You're Mine.


  1. ^ US Apple 1870[4]
  2. ^ UK Apple R 5995[5]
  1. ^ You're Sixteen Chart Positions Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  2. ^ """Gold & Platinum Database Search: "Starr.  
  3. ^ "Certified Awards Search".   Note: User needs to enter "Ringo Starr" in the "Search" field, "Artist" in the "Search by" field and click the "Search" button. Select "More info" next to the relevant entry to see full certification history.
  4. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 183.  
  5. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 182.  
  6. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. pp. 182, 183.  
  7. ^ Michael Verity, “Number 1 With A Bullet: Ringo Starr’s ‘You’re Sixteen’” Retrieved May 24, 2013.

External links

Preceded by
"Show and Tell" by Al Wilson
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (Ringo Starr version)
January 26, 1974 (one week)
Succeeded by
"The Way We Were" by Barbra Streisand
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