Saturday, November 03, 2007

Remembering Red Rubber Ball

One of the greatest singles of the Sixties was Red Rubber Ball by The Cyrkle. It's up their with the other greatest singles of the Sixties, a list that includes:
1-2-3 by Len Barry;
98.6 by Keith;
Lightnin' Strikes by Lou Christie;
Come On Down To My Boat by Every Mother's Son;
and Sunshine Superman by Donovan.
Paul Simon wrote Red Rubber Ball. John Lennon came up with the group's name. Our Man Elli in Israel emails to tell us that Tom Dawes, a founding member of The Cyrkle, has died, and to turn us on to a "great obit" that "touches on a lot of stuff, and answers the trivia question: Who opened for the Beatles on their final United States tour?"


Elli in Israel said...

Yes, those are some of the great songs, great one-hit wonders (though The Cyrkle had two) of the '60s. But the list falls far short of the other classics of the decade, including Elusive Butterfly by Bob Lind, Judy In Disguise (With Glasses) by John Fred & His Playboy Band, Harper Valley P.T.A. by Jeannie C. Riley, In the Year 2525 by Zager & Evans, a personal favorite - Master Jack by Four Jacks and A Jill, and of course perhaps the #1 song of them all, the one that made no sense, MacArthur Park by Richard Harris.

AppalachianLady said...

I thought the video said Brian Epstein gave The Cyrkle its name?

I must admit, it would be far more impressive given the passage of time if John Lennon had named them. Nevertheless, it's better to get it right, especially since you are regularly condemning other sources for misstating information.

At any rate, I remember hearing those songs (and the ones Elli mentions) on my grandfather's ever-present transistor radio when I was growing up. Thanks for the memories.

My vote for best best '60s band name/one-hit wonder would be ? and the Mysterians, who performed "96 Tears".

Some more trivia for you....

? and the Mysterians' bassist (Mel Schacher, only 16 at the time) is the son of a musician who played weekly on The Lawrence Welk Show, and later became a founding member of hard rock megagroup Grand Funk Railroad. Schacher's lead bass style helped define hard rock music, and he has been labeled "The God of Thunder" by Bass Player Magazine.

tabloidbaby said...

We and Paul Anka both have a point!

The Cyrkle were originally a "frat rock" band called The Rhondells, but were later discovered and managed by Brian Epstein, who was better known as manager of The Beatles. When Epstein took on the group, he renamed them, but he got the name and its unique spelling from John Lennon.

(Hate to quote the NY Times this morning, but among other sources, their obit says that " according to (Dawes' widow), John Lennon suggested the Cyrkle’s name and distinctive spelling."

And thanks, Appalachian Lady!

?'s 96 Tears is another song we should have added to the list of greats (along with Judy In Disguise and The Rain, The Park & Other Things).

Any other faves?

Anonymous said...

Build Me Up Buttercup! Can't even remember who ...

Anonymous said...

I believe that The Foundation recorded "Build Me Up Buttercup".
I may be mistaken, but I think it was on the cusp of the late 60's too...
My friend Robin Hood Brians recorded Judy In Disguise for John Fred at his studio in Tyler, Texas. He recorded a lot of people there including ZZ Top and their first three albums.
Jim Webb wrote MacArthur Park. He wrote a lot of hits for a few difeerent people, but Glen Campbell probably made him the most money! haha!

Anonymous said...

great credits, your friend. Loved Wichita Lineman.