Obscure Bands And Great Songs: The Cyrkle And Red Rubber Ball

The Cyrkle recorded the best upbeat break-up song ever — Red Rubber Ball — but who knows anything about them?  They seem like just another of those ’60s bands with a kind of “psychedelic” name, like Vanilla Fudge or the Strawberry Alarm Clock.  But this is a band with another interesting accomplishment:  they were the opening act for the Beatles for the Fab Four’s final tour, in 1966.

Initially called the Rhondells, the Cyrkle was formed by two students from Lafayette College, in Easton, Pennsylvania, and two other musicians.  They first heard the song Red Rubber Ball from Paul Simon, who co-wrote the song with Bruce Woodley of The Seekers.  The band recorded the song and were rechristened The Cyrkle.  Red Rubber Ball went to number 2 on the charts in the spring of 1966, and The Cyrkle were selected to tour with the Beatles — and then the rocket ride ended.  After the tour the band returned to playing small venues and then broke up, playing their last gig in 1968.

Before they broke up, of course, The Cyrkle produced Red Rubber Ball.  What a pleasure to hear a break-up song that isn’t bluesy and sad!  With the opening calliope-like sound, the bouncy beat, the adenoidal singing, and the uplifting message, Red Rubber Ball has made generations of jilted guys feel better.  What teenager who just got the boot from his girlfriend hasn’t sung “I think it’s going to be all right.  Yeah, the worst is over now.  The morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball” and felt a little bit better as a result?

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