Friday, September 10, 2010

Red Rubber Ball

Today’s Friday First selection is really a misnomer as the hit version was recorded prior to the versions released by the songwriters. In 1966, The Cyrkle had a number 2 hit with “Red Rubber Ball,” a song penned by Paul Simon and Bruce Woodley of the Seekers. Paul Simon offered the song to The Cyrkle when they were opening for Simon & Garfunkel’s 1966 tour.

The Seekers Version

Recorded for their 1966 LP “Georgy Girl,” the Seekers’ version of the tune was recorded the same year as The Cyrkle’s rendition. Woodley and Paul Simon co-wrote the tune when Simon was visiting England in 1965. Woodley sings lead on the Seekers’ recording.

Simon and Garfunkel

While Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel never recorded a studio version of “Red Rubber Ball,” a live recording was captured at Lincoln Center in 1967.

The Cyrkle

Originally named the Rhondells, this college band from Easton, Pennsylvania came to the attention of Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein. It was John Lennon who provided the spelling of their new name – The Cyrkle. In 1966, the band had the opportunity to open fourteen shows for The Beatles at the same time their biggest hit “Red Rubber Ball” was climbing the charts.

It was one of my favorite tunes of my sixth grade year and I remember singing it with my friends on the school playground at Green Valley Elementary School. Cool memories from 44 years ago.

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