Thursday, October 14, 2010

Today In Oldies 10/15/2010

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2.......Oldies' answer to Huntley/Brinkley

Where In The World Is........The Cyrkle?

How many bands can claim to have had John Lennon provide them with their name?  We don't know that answer ourselves, but The Cyrkle is among the few if not the only!  Founded by Lafayette College students Don Dannemann and Tom Dawes, they were rounded out by keyboardist Earl Pickens and drummer Marty Fried.  They began in the "frat rock" mode a la The Kingsmen, playing the campus scene around Lafayette College under the name The Rhonells.  They were discovered, and at one point managed, by none other than Brian Epstein, who wound up managing some group of British guys with really "long" hair.  Anyone remember their name? 

While Brian Epstein moved on to handle The Beatles, his New York-based partner, Nathan Weiss, took on management of The Rhondells and suggested a name change.  He then called upon his friend in high places, John Lennon, to provide the unique spelling of The Cyrkle, which is a reference to a circular roundabout and landmark in the town of Easton, Pennsylvania where Lafayette College is located. 

You could say The Cyrkle peaked before they ever had a chance to hit the charts.  Upon signing with Columbia Records and releasing their first single, they opened 16 shows for The Beatles in the summer of 1966 on their final American tour, including the legendary Dodger Stadium show with Bobby Hebb and The Ronettes.  That same year, their first single became a smash, and it had another rather famous name attached to it.  "Red Rubber Ball" was co-written by Bruce Woodley of The Seekers and a man who, years later, would discuss being so broke and distraught over the failure of his first American album that he moved to London and contributed to the song in order to get a one hundred pound advance from The Seekers.  His name was.......Paul Simon.  On the coattails of that summer with The Beatles, "Red Rubber Ball" hit #2 in 1966.  As with many other acts, The Cyrkle is remembered as a one hit wonder, but they did enjoy a Top 20 follow up hit, "Turn Down Day".  A second album and film soundtrack ("The Minx") flopped, and by the end of 1967, The Cyrkle was broken. 

It can be hard for a musician to get music out of their blood, so following the breakup of The Cyrkle, Don Dannemann and Tom Dawes channeled their musical talent into a different avenue.  They both formed their own ad agencies in New York and primarily wrote and performed commercial jingles.  Dannemann's jingle credits include Continental Airlines and Swanson frozen foods.  His best known jingle composition is the 70's campaign for 7-Up when they were referred to as "the UN-cola".  Tom Dawes wrote one of the most recognizable jingles in advertising history!  Sales of Alka-Seltzer exploded when the catchy "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz/Oh, what a relief it is" jingle was introduced.  Aside from their agencies, they have only reunited for a one shot concert in 1986 at the place where it all started, Lafayette College, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of "Red Rubber Ball". 

Here's The Cyrkle's moment of glory.....and wouldn't you agree that the video would be much cooler if they actually used a bouncing red rubber ball with the onscreen lyrics?

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Burning Question of the Day

Which music superstar provided a guest voice on The Simpsons under the pseudonym John Jay Smith? 

Check back @ Everything Oldies Monday (10/18/2010) for the answer, and leave a Comment here with your best guess!

Yesterday's Burning Question (and Answer) of the Day

"Jessie's Girl" was a #1 smash for Rick Springfield in 1981, but the central character's boyfriend in the song was NOT named "Jessie" in real life.  According to Rick, what WAS the boyfriend's real life name?

Answer: According to Rick, in an interview with, ".......his name was Gary, so I changed the name, because 'Gary' didn't sing very well."



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