In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in water. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add milk, 2/3 cup butter, eggs, salt and remaining sugar. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Divide half of the balls between two greased 10-in. fluted tube pans. In each pan, arrange 1/4 cup cherries in spaces between balls; sprinkle with about 1/3 cup pecans. Melt the remaining butter; drizzle 1/4 cup over each pan. Repeat the layers once. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat syrup ingredients. Slowly drizzle over warm loaves. Cool 10 minutes before inverting onto wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.