Happy December 4th birthday to Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon…born Frederick Anthony Picariello, Jr in Revere, Massachusetts in 1936. He sang and played guitar as a teen on a local hit called “Cha-Cha-Do” by the Spindrifts, while in his teens…then played guitar on “Ka-Ding-Dong” By the G-Clefs, which hit #24 in 1956. Freddy then joined the National Guard, took a truck driving job, married, and became a father.
Freddy formed a group that became popular in the Boston area, and got booked as a regular on a local TV Dance show. Boston DJ Jack McDermott signed Freddy to a management contract..and shopped around a song that Freddy called “Rock n’Roll Baby”. The songwriting team of Bob Crewe and Frank Slay (who wrote “Silhouettes” among others) rearranged the song and re-wrote the lyrics…it became “Tallahassee Lassie”. Well, Dick Clark heard the demo, and signed him to Swan Records, of which he was part owner. Now named Freddy Cannon, suggested by Swan’s President, that debut hit went to #6 in 1959, the first of his 22 hits on the Billboard chart.
His 3rd single was a re-working of a 1922 song…”Way Down Yonder In New Orleans” which went to #3 and gave Freddy a Gold Record. His last Top 20 hit was “Action” in 1965. Freddy holds the record for most performances on Clark’s “American Bandstand”…110!
On Wayback Wednesday we’ve got Freddy Cannon’s signature 1962 hit “Palisades Park” which holds a special place in the hearts of New Jerseyans. Happy 83rd birthday, Freddy, and keep rockin’!