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Red Rubber Ball

by

The Cyrkle



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

In 1964, Simon & Garfunkel's released their debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., which was a flop. Paul Simon relocated to England before returning to the US a year later after finding out that the song "The Sound Of Silence" had been overdubbed with electric instruments and was a now a huge hit. It was in this period when Simon was pursuing a solo career that he met Bruce Woodley, who was a songwriter and member of the Seekers, and the two wrote this song. It was intended for The Seekers, but Woodley's bandmates turned it down.
This was The Cyrkle's first hit. It was recorded when the band was in danger of disbanding over creative differences. Tom Dawes (the band's bassist) was touring with Simon & Garfunkel, when Simon offered his band this song. When Simon & Garfunkel finished their tour, The Cyrkle recorded it, and their manager, Brian Epstein (who also managed the Beatles), hired them to open for the Beatles' 1966 summer tour, which had audiences of up to 70,000 people.
The Seekers finally recorded a version of this song for their 1966 album Georgy Girl. A live version by Simon & Garfunkel can be found on their 1997 collection Old Friends. Other artists who have covered this song include Del Shannon and Mel Torme. (thanks, Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for above 3)
The Cyrkle were known as the Rondells, before Brian Epstein became their manager and renamed them. John Lennon came up with the new name.
In the US, this was on the charts at the same time as Simon & Garfunkel's "I Am A Rock."
This was produced by John Simon, who would later produce the landmark album by The Band, Music From Big Pink, and also the album Cheap Thrills by Janis Joplin's band Big Brother & the Holding Company.
The Cyrkle
More The Cyrkle songs
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Comments (14):

I don't think the Cyrkle played on this record or any of there other hits. there's a 90% chance Tom Wilson used studio musicians to back them up instead of the band members themselves (Paul Griffin might have provided the organ hook, Al Gorgoni might have played the guitar, although he's not 100% sure if he played on the record or not, Buddy Saltzman was most likely the drummer).
- Sam Williams, Sherman Oaks, CA
The Crykle's appearance on the Beatles 1966 North American Tour did NOT help "Red Rubber Ball" become a big hit. The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 charts on May 21, 1966 and peaked at #2 on July 9, 1966, several weeks before the start of that tour.
- BeatleBob , St. louis, MO
After this became a hit Simon and Garfunkel performed it at a 1967 concert. Simon said something to the effect that If he had known it was going to sell 900,000 copies, he would have hung onto it.
- esskayess, Dallas, TX
My all time favorite song. Great pick me up song.
- Beverly Schmieg, Minneapolis, MN
I remember being in 4th grade and the teacher said to draw a picture about a song....Red Rubber Ball was at the top of the charts and I drew a .....you guessed it....a red rubber ball
- Rick, Belfast, ME
After The Cyrkle broke up, Tom Dawes went into advertising, writing commercial slogans. His best remembered jingle is the "Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz" theme song for Alka Seltzer.
- Mike, Santa Barbara, CA
I always thought the song was tongue in cheek- you know the guy thinks he is going to be ok after his break up. The sun is shining bright red like in "Red sun in morning sailor take warning" so the poor guy is actually headed for more of the same. The high school garage band I was in actually covered the silly thing.
- Gerald, DC, DC
I read somewhere that John Lennon came up with the spelling of Cyrkle.
- Billy, West Unity, OH
The band "The Cyrkle" formed in my hometown, Easton, PA. They were undergrads at Lafayette College. They got together initially to play at frat parties! At one point they were an opening act for The Beatles on their 1966, and last, tour of America.
- Dave, Easton, PA
The Cyrcle also had a hit with a pretty good little piece of pop fluff called "Turn Down Day."
- kevin, Reading , PA
Duane, The joke's on the DJ. Red Rubber Ball is a better song than Stairway to Heaven. RRB will be played 100 years from now while self important, self indulgent, overly dramatic S to H will fade away.
- Karl, Allentown, PA
The thing that I most remember about this song was one year when I was ridiculously following a top 500 classic rock radio countdown. They had finally come to the top spot after songs such as Hotel California, Layla, and Hey Jude had played. The DJ said, "And now the top classic rock song of all time . . . RED RUBBER BALL by The Cyrkle". I almost pulled the car over for an instant I was in such short-term shock, quickly realizing he was kidding (Stairway to Heaven was the top song, of course).
- Duane, Wheatfield, IN
Joshua, don't be a smart aleck, it's a song FROM 1966!
Almost EVERY song from 66-67 was about "Sunshine" and stuff like that!
- Jonathan, Johnstown, PA
Red rubber balls don't shine.
- Joshua, Twin Cities, MN
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