Song: Red Rubber Ball
Artist: The Cyrkle
Millions of songs have been written about the usual things: love, girls, cars, drugs, even god. Some songs have been written about unusual things too like the "YMCA," "Purple people eaters" and "Bicycles."
So why not a rubber ball?
Don Dannemann (guitar/vocals) and Tom Dawes (bass/vocals) met while studying at Lafayette College. They formed a band (that would later become The Cyrkle), and in 1965 were discovered and managed by the same dapper gentleman who had managed The Beatles, Brian Epstein.
In fact, John Lennon provided the band with its unique spelling (Cyrkle), which is an allusion to the circle located in downtown Easton, Pennsylvania where Lafayette College is located.
The Cyrkle's big break came in early 1966 when they opened for Simon and Garfunkel. Paul Simon offered the group "Red Rubber Ball," a song he had co-written with Bruce Woodley of The Seekers.
In a recent interview on The Colbert Report, Steven Colbert asked Paul Simon if there was a particular song that almost didn't make it into his songbook, Lyrics 1964-2008. Simon replied "Red Rubber Ball," and that he wrote the song while he was living in England in order to get an advance from The Seekers.
"Red Rubber Ball" might not have been worthy enough for Mr. Simon, but the song turned out to be The Cyrkle's biggest hit, climbing all the way to #2 on the Billboard charts, selling over one million copies and going gold.
In the summer of '66, on the strength of their hit single, The Cyrkle opened for The Beatles during their U.S. tour. They would even take part in Beatles' history as they opened for the Fab Four on their final concert at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966.
The Cyrkle had one more Top 20 hit, "Turn-Down Day," later in 1966. They recorded a second album, Neon, a movie soundtrack, The Minx, a few singles then disbanded in late 1967.
Both Tom Dawes and Don Dannemann went onto write jingles. Dawes wrote the famous "plop plop fizz fizz" jingle for Alka-Seltzer, while Danneman wrote jingles for Continental Airlines and Swanson Foods, eventually writing the original 7Up "Uncola" ditty.