Freddy Cannon is the stage name for Frederick Picariello Jr.; who grew up on the North Shore of Massachusetts in Lynn. When I caught up with Freddie he had just released a song, “Down At Fenway Park” that he was hoping would become an anthem for the Boston Red Sox. Freddie told me he had been a fan of the Red Sox since he was five years old, ok that might have been a little exaggeration, but since he was a native New Englander he certainly was a fan of his home town team.
Freddy’s first hit came in 1959, “Tallahassee Lassie”, written by his mother but it was Dick Clark who made some changes to the song and helped make it a top ten hit. Freddie Cannon appeared on American Bandstand more than any other singer, 110 times. The reason was that sometimes groups had to cancel at the last minute so Dick Clark had to find a quick replacement; and Cannon was available and able to fill in.
Freddy Cannon also did some jingles for disc jockeys around New England and upstate New York. In my collection of radio station memorabilia I have a jingle done for Arnie Ginsburg who was a popular disc Jockey on WMEX in Boston during the 1950’s and 1960’s. For Arnie Ginsburg’s jingle, Freddie changed the lyrics to one of his minor hits “Patty Baby”. The new lyrics went like this “Arnie Ginsburg the guy with the swinging show. Down in Boston, Mass he’s the guy that the kids all know. If you’re feeling blue, he’ll make you smile, at 1510 on your radio dial. Arnie Ginsburg on WMEX radio.”
Freddy Cannon recorded these jingles for D.J.’s not because they asked him but because he enjoyed writing and recording them.
Freddy Cannon’s big hits were Tallahassee Lassie, Way Down Yonder in New Orleans, Action ( from Dick Clark’s daily ABC TV show) , and my personal favorite Palisades Park, written by Chuck Barris host of TV’s the Gong Show. The reason why Palisades Park is my personal favorite is because it always reminds me of summer and I just love all those amusement park sound effects that were added to the song!
I got a chance to hear and see Freddy Cannon, as part of oldies concert about a year after I did the phone interview and his segment was a delight! Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon…is still a rocker through and through!