Freddy Cannon

Rock ‘n’ Roll was loud, brash and exciting and often came with a guitar or sax solo that filled out the sound that usually consisted of little more than two guitars, drums and some hand-claps.

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Freddy Cannon’s rock ‘n’ roll had all those things and more; he added a lot more drumming and a fatter, bigger brass sound. The formula earned him the nicknames “Boom, Boom” and “The Explosive”, both of which summed up his style.

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Having shared chart honours with Tommy Steele with his first hit, Tallahassee Lassie, Cannon had more success rocking up old songs like, Way Down Yonder In New Orleans, California Here I Come and Muskrat Ramble. It’s on these that his “big band” style shines through. It’s said that Cannon never recorded a sad song and on the evidence of the fifty-five tracks in this 2xCD package, that’s probably true.

It includes songs like Buzz Buzz A Diddle It, revived in 1979 by British retro-rockers Matchbox), and surely one of the happiest songs ever written, Humdinger (where the brass and drums style is at its height) and Transistor Sister, all three of which deserved to be hits for Cannon. The Urge is there too, but back in 1960 that title may have put off Auntie BBC as is the totally awesome Palisades Park from 1962.

The bonus tracks include the over-long Twistin’ All Night Long on which he was teamed with Danny & The Juniors and another “shouldn’t have a hit” Cannon record, If You Were A Rock ‘n’ Roll Record.

Freddy Cannon may not be up there with Elvis, Bill Haley or Buddy Holly but rock ‘n’ roll would have been the poorer without him.

AUSTIN POWELL
Author: AUSTIN POWELL

Austin Powell has spent his entire working life in the music business. From being an agent and manager of ‘beat groups’ in the sixties to working for major record companies in the seventies and eighties, he has also held management positions at radio stations in England, Wales and on the Isle Of Man. He continues to act as a consultant to several record companies and artists and presents a weekly 'oldies' show on Monday evenings on 101.8 WCR FM in Wolverhampton.

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