There are so many things that I like about a hit song from long ago.

It became a hit song from the B side of the record.

I grew-up with my brother’s loving The “Gong Show.” We never missed it.

Ditto for “Gong Show” creator and show host Chuck Barris, who was a zany, creative genius.

Barris was also the creator of “The Newlywed Game” and “The Dating Game.”

Barris wrote the song “Palisades Park,” which was recorded by Freddy Cannon. It was also covered later by The Beach Boys, The Ramones, Jan and Dean, along with other famous recording artists.

The song has been featured in movies and it was the intro music to Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band each night during their 1988 “Tunnel of Love Express Tour.”

The story is an amazing one. “Palisades Park” Was likely destined to NEVER be a hit song.

As fate would have it, a Flint, Michigan Disc Jockey played “Palisades Park” by mistake … from the B side of the record.

“Palisades Park” made it all the way to # 3 during the week of June 23-30, 1962.

Wikipedia tells the Chuck Barrie - “ Palisades Park” story like this:

“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.

Palisades Amusement Park opened in 1898 and closed forever on September 12, 1971.

Barris included amusement park sound effects and screaming riders in his Palisades Park song.

The story behind the song is that a singer takes a walk after dark … he finds Palisades Amusement Park and falls in love with a girl.

A great list of rides is included in the song:

  • Shoot the Chute.
  • Rocket Ship.
  • Roller Coaster.
  • Loop the Loop.
  • Merry Go Round.
  • Tunnel of Love.
  • The Ferris Wheel.

It’s an uptempo, rock and roll song with a great New Jersey hook.

“Palisades Park” was supposed to be recorded by Dion, but, for reasons I don’t know, Freddy Cannon wound up recording it in 1962.

Cannon re-recorded it in 1987, switching it to “Kennywood Park,” an amusement park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania … that is still open today.

Ironically, Chuck Barris died on March 21, 2017 at the age of 87 in Palisades, New York.

SOURCE: Wikipedia.

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