The Cyrkle

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The Cyrkle
The Cyrkle.png
The Cyrkle in 1967
Background information
Also known as The Rhondells
Origin Easton, Pennsylvania, United States
Genres Pop, rock
Years active 1961–68
Labels Columbia
Past members Don Dannemann
Tom Dawes
Earl Pickens
Marty Fried
Michael Losekamp

The Cyrkle was a short-lived American rock and roll band active in the mid-1960s. The group charted two Top 40 hits, "Red Rubber Ball," and "Turn-Down Day".


The band was formed by guitarists and lead singers Don Dannemann and Tom Dawes (who also played bass guitar), who met while studying at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Dannemann enlisted in the US Coast Guard in 1966. The other members were Earle Pickens on keyboards and Marty Fried on drums. They were originally a "frat rock" band called The Rhondells but were later discovered and managed by Brian Epstein, who was best known as manager of The Beatles. Epstein found out about this band when his business partner, New York attorney Nathan Weiss, heard them in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Labor Day of 1965. Epstein became their manager and renamed them.[1] John Lennon provided the unique spelling of their new name, which is a reference to the circular roundabout known as Centre Square, located in downtown Easton. They were produced by John Simon.

In the summer of 1966, they opened on fourteen dates for the Beatles during their US tour. On August 28, they headed the opening acts performing prior to The Beatles at Dodger Stadium. The other artists who appeared were Bobby Hebb, The Ronettes, and The Remains.[2] Before touring with The Beatles, the Cyrkle had a successful engagement at the Downtown Discothèque in New York City.[3] They were also on the bill for the final Beatles concert at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966.

The Cyrkle is best known for their 1966 song "Red Rubber Ball," which went to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[4] It was co-written by Paul Simon of Simon and Garfunkel and Bruce Woodley of The Seekers. It was released on the Columbia record label. The band had one more Top 20 hit, "Turn-Down Day" (#16), later in 1966. After the release of their debut album, Red Rubber Ball, they recorded a second album, Neon, in late 1966, and a movie soundtrack, The Minx, in 1967. They followed that with various singles and then disbanded in late 1967.

Both Dawes and Danneman became professional jingle writers after the Cyrkle disbanded. Dawes later wrote the famous "plop plop fizz fizz" jingle for Alka-Seltzer.[5] Danneman wrote jingles for Continental Airlines and Swanson Foods. He penned the original 7Up Uncola song.[6] Dawes produced two albums for the band Foghat, Rock & Roll (1973) and Energized (1974), also co-writing the song "Wild Cherry" on the latter.[7] Marty Fried left the music business to attend law school and graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1972, and now works as a bankruptcy attorney in suburban Detroit. Earle Pickens is a surgeon in Gainesville, Florida.



Year Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Record Label Peak chart positions Album
US Billboard US Cashbox Canada RPM
1966 "Red Rubber Ball"
b/w "How Can I Leave Her"
Columbia 43589 2 3 1 Red Rubber Ball
"Turn-Down Day"
b/w "Big Little Woman"
Columbia 43729 16 18 16
"Please Don't Ever Leave Me"
b/w "Money to Burn" (from Red Rubber Ball)
Columbia 43871 59 50 31 Neon
1967 "I Wish You Could Be Here"
b/w "The Visit (She Was Here)"
Columbia 43965 70 57 46
b/w "SS 396" (By Paul Revere & The Raiders)
Promotional single created exclusively for Chevrolet dealers
Columbia Special Products 466 - - - Non-album tracks
"We Had a Good Thing Goin'"
b/w "Two Rooms" (from Neon)
Columbia 44018 72 65 69
"Penny Arcade"
b/w "The Words"
Columbia 44224 95 61 53
"Turn of the Century"
b/w "Don't Cry, No Fears, No Tears Comin'" (from Neon)
Columbia 44366 112 - -
1968 "Reading Her Paper"
b/w "Friends"
Columbia 44426 - - -
"Red Chair Fade Away"
b/w "Where Are You Going"
Columbia 44491 - - -

Reissue single[edit]


Original albums[edit]

Year Album Billboard 200 Cashbox Record label
1966 Red Rubber Ball 47 47 Columbia Records
1967 Neon 164 81
1970 The Minx Flying Dutchman Records
1991 Red Rubber Ball (A Collection) Columbia/Legacy Records

Compact disc re-issues[edit]

  • 1991 – Red Rubber Ball (A Collection) – Columbia Legacy 47717
  • 2001 – Red Rubber Ball – Sundazed SC 11108
  • 2001 – Neon – Sundazed 11109
Both reissues feature the original album tracks plus outtakes, demos, and non-LP singles tracks.



  1. ^ Beatles' Manager To Handle U.S. Group, Port Arthur, Texas News, June 8, 1966, pg. 34.
  2. ^ Beatles Show Acts Listed, Los Angeles Times, August 11, 1966, pg. D13.
  3. ^ The Swinging Set, Music Revolution Still Going Strong, The Daily Review, Hayward, California, Wednesday, July 6, 1966, pg. 25.
  4. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 203. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  5. ^ "Alka-Seltzer Marketing". Retrieved 2015-08-19. 
  6. ^ TV Star, Recording Star: The Power Of The Tube, Los Angeles Times, December 13, 1981, pg. U104.
  7. ^ On The Scene, Pacific Stars and Stripes (newspaper), Wednesday, March 9, 1977, pg. 16.
  8. ^ "Michigan Bankruptcy Attorneys : Goldstein Bershad & Fried, PC". Retrieved 2015-08-19. 
  9. ^ "Music and FUN from 50's-60's-70's". The Gas Pump Jockeys. Retrieved 2015-08-19. 
  10. ^ [1] Archived August 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]