Synopsis of Pop Music
"And I think it's gonna be all right,
Yeah, the worst is over now,
The mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball..."
Pop music was in a transitional phase in the mid-1960’s as it switched over from teen-idol sounds and the British Invasion to earthier trends like folk and psychedelia. The Cyrkle were able to straddle both worlds by combining pure pop songwriting with a style that allowed for experimentation with different sounds. As a result, they scored a pair of notable hits and pointed the way toward pop music’s adventurous future.
The Cyrkle (original name: ‘The Rhondells’) was formed in 1962 by a trio of college students: Don Danneman, Tom Dawes and Marty Fried. They played songs by the Four Seasons and the Beach Boys and quickly became a popular attraction at clubs and parties. Soon enough they were discovered by a New York attorney who introduced them to Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles. He liked the group and got them a record contract. During some down-time, Tom Dawes toured with Simon and Garfunkel as a bass player and became friends with Paul Simon, who offered him a song called “Red Rubber Ball.”
“Red Rubber Ball” was pure pop, a bouncy song with plenty of catchy hooks. The group, all fans of folk music, added a pleasingly folky touch to the song that gave it the icing on the cake. The end result became a #2 hit in early 1966 and stayed at that peak for a full month. It was followed by a similarly-titled album that also did well. The Cyrkle also scored another Top-20 hit in 1966 with “Turndown Day,” a pop ditty spiced up with psychedelic touches like a sitar.
The Cyrkle disbanded after releasing their second and final album, Neon, in 1967. Dawes soon became a successful writer of advertising jingles for products like 7-Up (the Uncola). Danneman became an ad executive and Fried became a lawyer. They reunited once for a charity concert in 1986, but have otherwise stayed with their current careers. However, they will always be fondly remembered for their tuneful combination of pop magic and colorful sounds.
Artist Release History1966 - Red Rubber Ball
1967 - Neon
1970 - The Minx
Pop Sub Categoriespop
Essential Music AlbumsRed Rubber Ball (A Collection) (Legacy)
Band MembersDon Danneman lead vocals, guitar
Tom Dawes bass, vocals
Marty Fried drums