A precursor of power-pop icons the Raspberries, Cleveland rock'n'roll band Cyrus Erie was originally formed in 1967 by singer/guitarist Tim Manning, bassist Bob McBride and his drummer brother Michael. The group gigged regularly in the months to follow, but failed to really catch on until the additions of singer/guitarist Eric Carmen and guitarist Marty Murphy prior to a New Year's Eve gig at the local club the Agora; although their arrivals prompted the exit of Manning, Cyrus Erie's popularity soared exponentially in 1968, and upon replacing Murphy with ex-Choir guitarist Wally Bryson, they opened for acts including the Who, the Byrds, and the Strawberry Alarm Clock. A demo of the Carmen composition "Sparrow" eventually found its way to the offices of Epic Records, and in early 1969 Cyrus Erie re-recorded the song for release as a single, although its B-side "Get the Message" earned far greater national airplay. However, after discovering Epic wanted to sign Carmen as a solo artist, Bryson left the band, which soon dissolved in his absence before reuniting a few months later; in the interim, Carmen formed a new group, the Quick, which issued the Epic single "Ain't Nothin' Gonna Stop Me." Although Cyrus Erie's second incarnation proved short-lived, in 1970 Carmen and Bryson reunited in the Raspberries, becoming overnight sensations two years later with their debut single "Go All the Way."
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