The Cyrkle

Introduction to the Cyrkle

The Cyrkle were an American pop rock band formed in Easton, Pennsylvania in the early 60s music era. They consisted of Don Danneman, Tom Dawes, Earl Pickens, Marty Fried and Michael Losekamp. They were heard by entertainment and would-be music entrepreneur lawyer Nat Weiss, who got hooked up with the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. Weiss played a key part in getting the Beatles gigs in the States; soon Epstein became The Cyrkle’s manager as well. The band’s uniquely-spelled name was given to them by John Lennon. The Cyrkle’s biggest hit was “Red Rubber Ball”, released in 1966, while their other Top 20 hit “Turn-Down Day” was released later that year. They recorded following singles and a second album Neon before disbanding in 1967. After The Cyrkle, Danneman and Dawes became professional composers of commercial jingles. 

Who was the Cyrkle?

Formed in Easton, Pennsylvania in 1961, The Cyrkle was an American rock band founded by Don Danneman and Tom Dawes who were both guitarists and lead singers of the group. The two attended the Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania where they also met and started to get into music. They also recruited Earl Pickens (keyboards) and Marty Fried (drums) and together they formed their own band.

The band were once a frat rock band called The Rhondells until they were later discovered by Brian Epstein who was also managing The Beatles by that time. John Lennon came up with the unique band name The Cyrkle, referring to the Centre Square Peace Candle in Easton. As a new band, The Cyrkle already had a successful performance at the Downtown Discotheque in New York City. In the middle of 1966, The Cyrkle was actively touring with The Beatles, performing as an opening act for the Fab Four’s US tour. In the Beatles’ final concert at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966, they were also included on the bill as well.

Making their own name in the business with “Red Rubber Ball” and “Turn Down Day”

The Cyrkle was a short-lived band, and during their brief existence as a group they issued most of their singles between 1966 and 1967. From their debut album Red Rubber Ball, the first two singles became hits: “Red Rubber Ball” and “Turn Down Day.” Released on Columbia Records, “Red Rubber Ball” reached its peak position at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a million-selling record. Co-written by Paul Simon (Simon and Garfunkel) and Bruce Woodley (The Seekers), the song earned a gold disc status for its success. While the second and final hit, “Turn Down Day” entered the Top 20 of the pop chart at #17.

In 1967, the Cyrkle released their sophomore record Neon. They issued four singles (“I Wish You Could Be Here,” “We Had a Good Thing Goin’,” “Penny Arcade” and “Turn of the Century”) but the group failed to repeat the success that they were hoping for. Later that year, they also issued a movie soundtrack called The Minx. After that project, The Cyrkle called it quits.

Career after The Cyrkle

After the disbandment, the two members of The Cyrkle were still into making music but in a different field. Dawes and Danneman became successful jingle composers for advertisements. Dawes also was once a producer for the band Foghat. In 1972, Fried attended law school at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and is now a bankruptcy attorney working in the city.