Palisades Park – Mr. Freddy “BOOM BOOM” Cannon


Jul 7, 2003


The Bottom Line Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon was born “Frederico Anthony Picariello” on 4 December 1939 in Lynn, Massachusetts

Freddy grew up with musical parents as his dad sang, played the trumpet and was the dance bandleader of a few different local groups over the years. His mom was an amateur songwriter and would eventually be part of a trio of songwriters on his Freddy’s first big hit. Freddy loved listening to the music of “Buddy Johnson”, “Big Joe Turner” and “Chuck Berry” all of which would influence his music direction. He first joined a group called “The Spindrifts” who released one singled titled “Cha-Cha-Do” that was a small local hit for them in 1955. He had his own group for a short period called “Freddy Karmon & The Hurricanes”. He next joined the group called “The G-Clefs” where he played lead guitar for them on “Ka-Ding Dong” that peaked at #24 on 28 July 1956. Freddy worked during the day as a truck driver and he would always try to get home in time to watch the weekday version of “American Bandstand” hoping someday to be goon enough to be on it himself. One day when he returned home from work his mother asked him to sit down and listen to a poem she had written and asked him to try to set it to music. In 1958 a local Boston DJ “Jack McDermott” gave the song that Freddy and his mom wrote titled “Rock And Roll Baby” to the writing team of “Bob Crew” and “Frank Slay”. They rearranged the song and gave it a new name titled “Tallahassee Lassie”. After they had rewritten the song they had Freddy and his group go into a recording studio to recut the song. They played the demo for “Dick Clark” at his house and he suggested to add a bass drum sound and hand clapping and they got Freddy to say “woo” as often as possible during the song. This would become one of his signature sounds in most of his music. They redid the song a 3rd and final time and “Bernie Binnick” the president of “Swan” records gave Freddy his new name of “Freddy Cannon”. The single would finally be released on “Swan” records out of Philadelphia that was co-owed by “Dick Clark”. On 11 May 1959 the song peaked at #6 on the US singles pop charts. It also peaked at #13 this year on the R&B singles charts.

His next release titled “Okefenokee” peaked at #43 on the singles charts on 24 August. This was followed by “Way Down Yonder In New Orleans” that peaked at #3 on 23 November and sold over a million copies. It peaked at #14 on the R&B singles charts and it would be his only gold selling record of his career. In 1960 he released 5 singles that all made the charts and 2 albums but neither of these charted. His biggest hit of 1960 was “Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy” that peaked at #34 on 22 February 1960. This was first a #9 hit by the “Peerless Quartet” in 1922. It was also redone by 6 different artists in 1950 to include “Red Foley”, “Bing Crosby”, “Phil Harris”, “Frank Sinatra”, “Bill Darnell” and “Bradford & Romano”. “Red Foley” took the song to its highest position when it peaked at #1 for 8 weeks on the pop singles charts on 21 January 1950. On the same day it also hit #1 for him on the country singles charts where it stayed for 13 consecutive weeks.

In 1961 Freddy released 2 more albums neither of which made the charts and 4 singles all of which made the top 100 charts. His biggest selling record of this year was “Transistor Sister” that peaked at #35 on 31 July. The following year he released only 1 album and 5 singles, all of which made the charts. His only album in 1962 was titled “Freddy Cannon At Palisades Park” that peaked at #101 on the charts. This would be the only album to make the charts for him. His biggest selling single of the year would also come from this album titled “Palisades Park” that peaked at #3 on 12 March. It peaked at #15 on the R&B singles charts and it would become his 3rd and final top 10 hit of his short career. In 1963 he released 2 albums and 2 singles the biggest of these was “Patty Baby” that peaked at #65 on the singles charts. He also starred in the Movie “Just For Fun” with “Bobby Vee”, “Johnny Tillotson”, “Alan Freeman”, “Ketty Lester”, “Kenny Lynch”, “Sounds Incorporated”, “Mark Wynter” and others.

His contract with “Swan” records expired and he singed with “Warner Brothers” records in late 1963. In 1964 he released only one album titled “Freddy cannon Sings Abigail Beecher” that failed to chart and one single. The single was from the album titled “Abigail Beecher” and it peaked at #16 on the singles charts on 1 February. It would be his final top 40 hit on the US charts. In 1965 he released “Action!” that failed to make the album charts and “Action” the single that peaked at #13 on 14 August. The song “Action” was used for the title theme for the Saturday musical/variety show “Where The Action Is” produced by “Dick Clark” and hosted by “Paul Revere & The Raiders”. He also starred in his second Movie titled “Village Of The Giants” starring “Tommy Kirk”, “Johnny Crawford”, “Beau Bridges”, “Toni Basil”, “Vicki London”, “The Beau Brummels” and more. He released “Freddy Cannon’s Greatest Hits in 1966 that failed to make the album charts. He also released “The Dedication Song” that peaked at #41 on the singles charts on 19 February. He would not release anymore albums or singles for at least 15 years deciding to tour and perform live all over the world. In 1981 he released a single with “The Belmonts” titled “Let’s Put The Fun Back In Rock N Roll” that stopped at #81 on the charts. This would be his final charting record in the US. In 1982 he starred in the Movie “The Junkman” with “Christopher Stone”, “H. B. Halicki”, “Susan Shaw”, “Lynda Day George”, “The Belmonts”, “Hoyt Axton” and others.

From 1995 a total of 10 different compilation Albums/CD’s were released on many different labels. On 19 November 2002 he released his first ever holiday collection titled “Have A Boom Boom Christmas!!” on “Collectables” records. This collection is his own upbeat, jumping fast paced versions of some old Christmas hits as well as a few old traditional favorites. It also includes one non-holiday song a new updated longer version of his hit “Palisades Park”. The only CD I currently own by “Freddy Cannon” is The Best of Freddy “boom-boom” Cannon Big Blast From Boston” that was released on “Rhino” records on 21 November 1995. The songs on this CD are listed below in the order as they appear, followed by the length of each song then by my rating of each and finally by my overall rating of this CD:

1. Cha Cha Doo – 2:38 – 3 (credited to “The Spindrifts” accompanied by “The Downbeats”)
2. Tallahassee Lassie – 2:12 – 5
3. You Know – 2:28 – 3
4. Okefenokee – 2:35 – 3
5. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans – 2:31 – 5
6. Chattanooga Shoe shine Boy – 2:18 – 5
7. Boston “:My Home Town” – 2:06 – 3
8. Jump Over – 2:46 – 2
9. Humdinger – 3:04 – 3
10. Muskrat Ramble – 2:28 – 3
11. Buzz Buzz A-Diddle –It – 2:27 – 5
12. Transistor Sister – 2:24 – 5
13. Teen Queen Of The Week – 2:11 – 3
14. Palisades Park – 1:53 – 5
15. If You Were A Rock And Roll Record – 1:56 – 3
16. Patty baby – 2:01 – 5
17. Abigail Beecher – 2:24 – 5
18. Action – 2:08 – 5
19. Beachwood City – 2:07 – 4
20. The Dedication Song – 2:54 – 5

Total Points: 80 divided by 20 = 4.00 or 4 Stars

Rating Key:
5 –Great
4 – Very Good
3 – Good
2 – Fair
1 – Poor
0 – This song does not belong here!


Billboard US Top 40 Pop Singles for “Freddy Cannon”

1. Tallahassee Lassie – Peaked at #6 on 05/11/59
2. Okefenokee – Peaked at #43 on 08/24/59
3. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans – Peaked at #3 on 11/23/59 (GOLD)
4. Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy – Peaked at #34 on 02/22/60
5. Jump Over – Peaked at #28 on 05/09/60
6. The Urge – Peaked at #60 on 05/16/60
7. Happy Shades Of Blue – Peaked at #83 on 07/25/60
8. Humdinger – Peaked at #59 on 10/10/60
9. Muskrat Ramble – Peaked at #54 on 01/09/61
10. Buzz Buzz A-Diddle-It – Peaked at #51 on 05/01/61
11. Transistor Sister – Peaked at #35 on 07/31/61
12. For Me And My Gal – Peaked at #71 on 10/16/61
13. Twistin’ All Night Long – Peaked at #68 on 01/06/62 (credited to “Danny & The Juniors with Freddy Cannon”)
14. Teen Queen Of The Week – Peaked at #92 on 02/03/62
15. Palisades Park – Peaked at #3 on 05/12/62
16. What’s Gonna Happen When Summer’s Done – Peaked at #45 on 09/08/62
17. If You Were A Rock And Roll Record – Peaked at #67 on 11/10/62
18. Patty Baby – Peaked at #65 on 05/04/63
19. Everybody Monkey – Peaked at #52 on 08/03/63
20. Abigail Beecher – Peaked at #16 on 02/01/64
21. Action – Peaked at #13 on 08/14/65
22. The Dedication Song – Peaked at #41 on 02/19/66
23. Let’s Put The Fun Back In Rock N Roll – Peaked at #81 on 09/26/81 (credited to “Freddy Cannon & The Belmonts”)

Some Song Lyrics

Abigail Beecher
Hey, everybody get out of the street now
I hear the roar of an XKE now
Sloppy sweater and pony tail
And the cop on the corner is turnin' pale
Whoo! It's Abigail Beecher, our history teacher

All the kids are just crazy about her
Central High would be a drag without her
She knows her history from A to Z
She digs the monkey and the Watusi
Whoo! It's Abigail Beecher, our history teacher

Whoo!

We're out in the hall and a-changin' classes
Plays guitar, wears blue sunglasses
She's prim and proper and a real swinger
She's gonna be a rock-and-roll singer
Whoo! It's Abigail Beecher, our history teacher

Whoo!

History class is getting' bigger and bigger
They come from miles `cause they really dig her
The P.T.A. was real sore
When she walked in with a red surf board
Whoo! It's Abigail Beecher, our history teacher

Palisades Park
Last night I took a walk after dark
A swingin' place called Palisades Park
To have some fun and see what I could see
That's where the girls are

I took a ride on a shoot-the-chute
That girl I sat beside was awful cute
And after while she was holdin' hands with me

My heart was flyin' up like a rocket ship
Down like a roller coaster
Back like a loop-the-loop
And around like a merry-go-round

We ate and ate at a hot dog stand
We danced around to a rockin' band
And when I could, I gave that girl a hug
In the tunnel of love

You'll never know how great a kiss can feel
When you stop at the top of a Ferris wheel
When I fell in love down at Palisades Park

We ate and ate at a hot dog stand
We danced around to a rockin' band
And when I could, I gave that girl a hug
In the tunnel of love

You'll never know how great a kiss can feel
When you stop at the top of a Ferris wheel
When I fell in love down at Palisades Park

Down at Palisades Park
You know it's Palisades Park
Down at Palisades Park

Talahassee Lassie
Well she comes from Tallahassee
She's got a hi-fi chassis
Maybe looks a little sassy
But to me she's real classy
Yeah my Tallahassee Lassie down in F-L-A
Well she dances to the Drag, the Cha-cha, Rag and Mop
Stomping to the Shag, rocks the Bunny Hop ooh ooh ooh ooh
She dances to the Rock, she dances to the Stroll
She dances to the Walk, she can rock and roll
She's my Tallahassee lassie yeah my Tallahassee lassie
She's my Tallahassee lassie down in F-L-A

Well she comes from Tallahassee
She's got a hi-fi chassis
Maybe looks a little sassy
But to me she's real classy
Yeah my Tallahassee Lassie down in F-L-A
Well she dances to the Drag, the Cha-cha, Rag and Mop
Stomping to the Shag, rocks the Bunny Hop ooh ooh ooh ooh
She dances to the Rock, she dances to the Stroll
She dances to the Walk, she can rock and roll
She's my Tallahassee lassie yeah my Tallahassee lassie
She's my Tallahassee lassie down in F-L-A

Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
Well, way down yonder in New Orleans in the land of the dreamy scenes
There's a garden of Eden, ah-you know what I mean

Yeah, Creole babies with flashin' eyes softly whisper with tender sighs
And then you stop!
Oh won't you give your lady fair a little smile?
And then you stop!
You bet your life you'll linger there a little while

Yeah, there is heaven right here on earth with those beautiful queens
Yeah, way down yonder in New Orleans
Whoo!

Way down yonder in New Orleans, whoo!, in the land of the dreamy scenes
There's a garden of Eden, you know what I mean

Well, Creole babies with flashin' eyes softly whisper with tender sighs
And then you stop!
Oh won't you give your lady fair a little smile?
And then you stop!
You bet your life you'll linger there a little while

Yeah, there is heaven right here on earth with those beautiful queens
Well, way down yonder in New Orleans
Yeah! whoo!

Jaguardog’s Final Thoughts

Even though Freddy Cannon had a very short career I thought he deserved a spot in my Rock ‘N’ Roll History review of artists because his music was very good and influential. His sound was carefree, fast-paced, fancy-free, frolicking, fun, gleeful, happy, partying, playful, rambunctious, rowdy and very danceable. Like a saying that was used quite often on the old “American Bandstand” TV show when they had the rate a record segment, “It had a good beat and you could dance to it”. Freddy got his nickname “Boom Boom” from the use of loud bass drums in a lot of his recordings. This is the 1st CD I ever owed by Freddy and I just bought it last year at amazon.com and have listened to it 5 or 6 times since. I did own at one time 6 of his singles my favorites being “Action” and “Palisades Park”. That ends another part of my music history lesson for today everyone and I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane and maybe were entertained just a little? I hope everyone has a great day, thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read and maybe leave a comment and as always God Bless You All, Ron.

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