The mornin’ sun is shinin’ like a red rubber ball

Surely modern London is the greatest cultural crossroads the world has ever known. Just as it was in 1964 when an Australian folk singer, named Bruce Woodley, and his mates landed there after having experienced some success back home.

Calling themselves the Seekers they would go on to score with a number of top ten hits, including “I’ll Never Find Another You” and (who can forget) “Georgy Girl” before disbanding in 1968.  But Woodley would also become part of a brief but fascinating songwriting team when he met an American named Paul Simon.

After Simon & Garfunkel’s acoustic debut album (“Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.”) had floundered in 1964, Simon decided to move to England to pursue a solo career. And there he met Woodley, whose group was making the same folk club and coffee house circuit. The two singer/songwriters became friends and began to co-write a number of songs, including “Cloudy”, which was initially recorded by The Seekers and would later appear on Simon & Garfunkel’s third album “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme”.  And then there was today’s selection.

Simon later claimed to have sold the entire rights to the song to Woodley because he needed the £100 advance and, indeed, the Seekers included “Red Rubber Ball” on their 1966 album “Come the Day” (released in the U.S. as “Georgy Girl”).  Of course by this time Paul Simon had returned to the States as a star.

Unbeknownst to either Simon or Garfunkel the producer of their “Wednesday Morning” album had taken the liberty of overdubbing one of the tracks with electric guitar, bass and drums (having heard Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”) and released the new creation as a single.  By New Year’s Day of 1966 “The Sound of Silence” was Number One on the Billboard Charts and Simon & Garfunkel were together again.

A new album, “The Sounds of Silence” recorded in their new folk-rock style soon followed as did their first big concert tour, which included as its opening act, the Pennsylvania-based the Cyrkle.  During the tour Paul Simon suggested they try-out the song he’d written with Woodley and the resulting single hit Number 2 on the Billboard Charts, just in time for the group’s next opening gig, the Beatles final tour.

Discovered by Beatles manager, Brian Epstein (over from London, of course) during the Beatles ’65 tour. it was none-other than John Lennon who had suggested the group’s name after recalling a peculiar sign he’d seen for a “Traffic Cyrkle” in Easton, England.  Notably they were the opening act for the Beatles final live concert at Candlestick Park on 29 August 1966.

For one final aside, after the Cyrkle’s breakup the following year, lead singers Din Dannemann and Tom Dawes went on to become professional jingle writers, scoring hits with the 7Up “Uncola” song and most memorably… “plop-plop-fizz-fizz” for Alka-Seltzer.

 LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Friday 14 September

Red Rubber Ball

I should have known you’d bid me farewell

There’s a lesson to be learned from this and I learned it very well

Now, I know you’re not the only starfish in the sea

If I never hear your name again, it’s all the same to me

 And I think it’s gonna’ be alright

Yeah, the worst is over now

The mornin’ sun is shinin’ like a red rubber ball

 You never care for secrets I confide

For you, I’m just an ornament, somethin’ for your pride

Always runnin’, never carin’, that’s the life you live

Stolen minutes of your time were all you had to give

And I think it’s gonna be alright

Yeah, the worst is over now

The mornin’ sun is shinin’ like a red rubber ball

 The story’s in the past with nothin’ to recall

I’ve got my life to live and I don’t need you at all

The roller-coaster ride we took is nearly at an end

I bought my ticket with my tears, that’s all I’m gonna spend

And I think it’s gonna be alright

Yeah, the worst is over now

The mornin’ sun is shinin’ like a red rubber ball

 Oh, I think it’s gonna be alright

Yeah, the worst is over now

The mornin’ sun is shinin’ like a red rubber ball

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