You're Sixteen

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

Chart history[edit]


The personnel on the Johnny Burnette version included:

Ringo Starr version[edit]

"You're Sixteen"
You're Sixteen Ringo Starr.jpg
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
Songwriter(s) Robert B. Sherman, Richard M. Sherman
Producer(s) Richard Perry
Ringo Starr singles chronology
"You're Sixteen"
"Oh My My"
"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.[8] 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.”[9] 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. Nicky Hopkins is heard playing the piano, including his going up and down the scale in the instrumental fade of the song. Also, the Ringo Starr version was in 6/8 time, compared to the original, which was in 2/4 time. In addition, in Ringo's version, the melody and the chords were different, in the Bridge Section, which led to a minor key, while the original version used all major keys.

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

Chart history[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1973-74) Peak
Australia KMR[10] 6
Belgium 10
Canada RPM Top Singles[11] 2
Canada RPM Adult Contemporary[12] 13
Ireland (IRMA)[13] 2
Germany 19
Japan 74
Netherlands 6
New Zealand (Listener)[14] 1
Norway 6
Switzerland 6
UK (OCC) 4
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 1
US Billboard Easy Listening 2
US Cash Box Top 100[16] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1974) Rank
Australia [10] 62
Canada [17] 32
UK 49
US Billboard Hot 100[18] 31
US Cash Box [19] 18

Other covers[edit]

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[6]
  2. ^ UK Apple R 5995[7]
  1. ^ You're Sixteen Chart Positions Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  2. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  3. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, January 7, 1961
  4. ^ The 100 Best-Selling Singles of 1961
  5. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 30, 1961
  6. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 183. ISBN 9780753508435. 
  7. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. p. 182. ISBN 9780753508435. 
  8. ^ Harry, Bill (2004). The Ringo Starr Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. pp. 182, 183. ISBN 9780753508435. 
  9. ^ Michael Verity, “Number 1 With A Bullet: Ringo Starr’s ‘You’re Sixteen’”[permanent dead link] Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (doc). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  11. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 
  12. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – You're Sixteen". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  14. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 9 Mar 1974
  15. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  16. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, February 2, 1974
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 28, 1974

External links[edit]

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