Palisades Park (Freddy Cannon song)

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"Palisades Park"
The original hit recording by Freddy Cannon
Single by Freddy Cannon
A-side"June, July and August"
ReleasedJuly 1962
GenreRock and roll
Songwriter(s)Chuck Barris
Freddy Cannon singles chronology
"Teen Queen of the Week"
"Palisades Park"
"What's Gonna Happen When Summer's Done"

"Palisades Park" is a song written by Chuck Barris and recorded by Freddy Cannon. A tribute to New Jersey's Palisades Amusement Park, it is an up-tempo rock and roll tune led by a distinctive organ part. The track also incorporates amusement park sound effects, including the sounds of screaming riders on the roller coasters, and the quoting of a slower version of the "March of the Clowns", played on an organ imitating a Hurdy Gurdy or Calliope. In the song, the singer takes a walk after dark and discovers Palisades Park, where he meets and falls in love with a girl. Among the list of rides and attractions listed in the song are: "Shoot the Chute, Rocket Ship, Roller Coaster, Loop the Loop, Merry Go Round, Tunnel of Love, and the Ferris Wheel.


Barris wrote a song about an amusement park and it was suggested he use the name of an amusement park as the title. One night he was in Manhattan when he looked toward the New Jersey Palisades Cliffs, on which the amusement park sat. That was when inspiration hit and the title was added. Years later the Palisades Amusement Park closed, on September 12, 1971.[1]

Released by Swan Records as a B-side to "June, July and August," "Palisades Park" broke in when a Flint, Michigan radio DJ played it by mistake. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 23–30 June 1962,[2] the biggest hit of Cannon's career.[3]

The song was covered as an album track by Shelley Fabares on her 1962 album The Things We Did Last Summer, and by Jan and Dean on their album Jan & Dean's Golden Hits in 1962. It was subsequently recorded by Gary Lewis and the Playboys in 1965 on their album A Session With Gary Lewis And the Playboys, by The Beach Boys in 1976 on their album 15 Big Ones album, and by The Ramones in their 1989 album Brain Drain.

Though never officially recorded and released, the song was also performed by Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band on their Tunnel of Love Express Tour in 1988.[4]

New York-based punk band The Ramones released their cover of Palisades Park on their 1989 album Brain Drain. It was also included on the Chrysalis Records 1991 release of their live album Loco Live, but was not on Loco Live's 1992 Sire Records re-release.[5][circular reference]

In addition, the song was performed live by The Stompers, a Boston-based band with members from Lynn, Massachusetts (Cannon's home town, although he was born in Swampscott, Massachusetts) beginning in the late 1970s. However, the group only recorded the track on a live album released in 1994.[6][7]

New York City garage punk band The Devil Dogs included the song on its 1990 12"EP, Big Beef Bonanza.

The song is excerpted in the Buchanan and Goodman novelty number "Ben Crazy" (1962, based on the Ben Casey TV show).

In 1987, Cannon re-recorded the song, but as "Kennywood Park" (which, unlike Palisades Park before it, is still in operation),[8] a reworking of the song about the Pittsburgh amusement park of the same name. It was issued as a limited edition 45 vinyl single distributed through National Record Mart as a fund-raiser for UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Free Care Fund.

Cannon also used a version of the song as a jingle for Boston's Oldies station WODS-FM, Oldies 103, in the 90's.[9]

More recently "Palisades Park" appeared in the films Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, picturing Barris' life, X-Men: First Class, during a scene set in 1962, the year of the song's initial release, and on the soundtrack to the 2016 video game Mafia III.


  1. ^ "Carousel, Anyone? A 1928 'Heirloom' Offered for $80,000". The New York Times. November 15, 1971. Retrieved 2009-01-27. Irving Rosenthal has the Christmas present for the man who has everything. Preferably a man in search of high camp or deep nostalgia. ... Mr. Rosenthal sold the Palisades Amusement Park site to tho Centex-Winston Corporation, which plans to erect 3800 high-rise condominiums on the tract ...
  2. ^ "23 June 1962 Hot 100". Billboard. 23 June 1962. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
  3. ^ "Read expert reviews on Electronics, Cars, Books, Movies, Music and More". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 6, 2011. Retrieved June 21, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Loco Live
  6. ^ "Official Web Site". Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  7. ^ "Official Web Site". Retrieved 2016-06-05.
  8. ^ "Kennywood Park / With a Little Love". Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  9. ^ "Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon – Oldies 103 WODS FM Jingle/Palisades Park". YouTube. 1990-11-06. Retrieved 2016-06-05.