The Cyrkle Biography

Founder members of this harmony pop act, Don Dannemann (9 May 1944, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA; guitar/vocals) and Tom Dawes (b. 25 July 1944, Albany, New York, USA, d. 13 October 2007, New York City, New York, USA; guitar/vocals) met while studying at Lafayette College. Together they formed a ‘frat’ band, the Rhondells, with Earle Pickens (keyboards) and Marty Fried (b. Martin Fried, 1944, Wayside, New Jersey, USA; drums) which honed a set drawn from songs by the Beach Boys and Four Seasons. They were ‘discovered’ playing at New Jersey’s Alibi Lounge by New York attorney Nat Weiss, who introduced the band to Beatles manager Brian Epstein. He signed the Rhondells to his NEMS roster; John Lennon reportedly suggested their new name, the Cyrkle. The incipient act then broke up temporarily, leaving Dawes free to tour with Simon And Garfunkel. Paul Simon offered the bass player ‘Red Rubber Ball’, a song he co-wrote with Bruce Woodley of the Seekers’ which gave the reconvened Cyrkle a number 2 US hit in May 1966. The group supported the Beatles on the latter’s final tour but having passed on another Simon composition, ‘59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)’, later a hit for Harpers Bizarre, the Cyrkle enjoyed their only other Top 20 entry with ‘Turn Down Day’ (number 16, August 1966), which featured Dawes’ memorable sitar line.

Pickens was replaced by Mike Losecamp for Neon, but the death of Epstein in 1967 virtually ended the Cyrkle’s career. They broke up in January 1968 when Dawes and Losecamp quit the line-up. The former later found success penning advertising jingles, a career Dannemann also followed.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.