Title: Palisades Park
Artist: Freddy Cannon
Album: N/A - single release only
In August, I watched the documentary Last Summer at Coney Island, which chronicled the closing of the Astroland amusement park after nearly fifty years of delighting kids of all ages. Although Astroland is one of the more famous parks, there were thousands of similar parks erected in the early 20th century. Many started as trolley parks, picnic and recreation areas situated at the end of streetcar lines to encourage weekend ridership. One such park was Palisades Park, which opened in 1898 and operated until 1971.
The song "Palisades Park" is kind of a novelty song, I suppose, but it seems so tied to this era I thought I'd use it to begin my survey of 1962. Written by Chuck Barris—yes, the same guy who created The Gong Show—the song features a chromatic organ riff reminiscent of a merry-go-round and sound effects of rollercoasters and rollercoaster riders. I really like the sound of Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon's voice on the track and especially the spring reverb that thickens it up. A fun track for a fun place*!
(*disclaimer: I have never been to Palisades Park and cannot verify that is was actually fun.)