Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, known for his driving-beat rock classics, holds the record for the most appearances on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand at 110. Born Frederick Anthony Picariello in Swampscott, Massachusetts, in 1939 he followed his musical father’s footsteps, first playing rhythm guitar and singing with the Spindrifts, then fronting Freddy Karmon & the Hurricanes. Influenced by Chuck Berry’s guitar and Little Richard’s “woos,” he set some words written by his mother to music, changed his name and recorded “Tallahassee Lassie” in 1959, breaking into the Top Ten on the Billboard Charts with the help of Boston’s WMEX. That would be one of 22 songs to make the Billboard Hot 100, including his most enduring hit “Palisades Park,” written by Chuck Barris before his days hosting The Gong Show. Now in his seventies, Cannon still tours, bringing his distinctive sound to more than 100 venues each year.
(by Fran Berger)
Published on March 2, 2013