(CBS 11) – The summer of 1965 was a cool one for me and a lot of other American youth. Rock n’ roll was definitely here to stay and the British Invasion was in full force. But one guy stood out that year for a song he recorded that became the theme for a network TV show.

Freddy Cannon (born Frederick Picariello, Jr. on December 4, 1936) was a well- known pop singer to American youth during the early years of rock and roll. From 1959-1965, he charted eight times on Billboard. He had two songs that hit #3: “Way Down Yonder In New Orleans” in 1959 and “Palisades Park” in 1962. But his last song “Action” was the opening and closing them for the show “Where The Action Is.”

Musician Freddy Cannon arrives at the premiere of the film ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’ December 19, 2002 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images)

The show was a spinoff of American Bandstand, created and produced by Dick Clark, who was dubbed “America’s Teenager” (mainly because he appeared never to age!). It premiered on the ABC Television Network on June 27, 1965 at 2pm ET/1pm CT. By fall, it had moved to 4:30pm ET/3:30pm CT. Locally, it was the lead-in to Ron Chapman’s “Sump N’ Else” locally seen on WFAA-TV Channel 8, live from Northpark Mall in North Dallas. During this time, ABC and NBC were actively going after the teen audience with shows like Action, Shindig!, and Hullabaloo, and they all produced good ratings… at least for awhile.

I was about 11 years old when the show premiered. When school let out, unless something else was going on, I went home and turned on the TV set to watch Action!

The regulars on the show consisted of Paul Revere & the Raiders, Tommy Roe, The Knickerbockers, Pete Menefee & The Action Kids, and several others. The list of guest performers is so long, we can’t even list everyone here. Yet whoever was hot on the American Top 40 during this time got booked on the show. Appointment booking for a singer, appointment viewing for the rest of us!

Action was only supposed to be a summer replacement but it was so successful it ran for nearly two years before ABC cancelled the show. It last airing was March 31, 1967.

Written by Andrew Scott, Stephen Priest, Brian Connelly and Michael Tucker, running around 1:49 on the Warner Records label, the lyric are as follows:

Oh, baby come on, let me take you where the action is. (3X)
It’s so neat to meet ya baby where the action is.

In every little town cross the U.S.A.
There’s a spot where the people tangle everyday
Just leave your problems and get away
Come down and listen to the guitars play.

Dance, dance dance when you hear that beat
Dance, dance dance get up off of your seat
Dance, dance dance let your back bone slip
Let’s go to the place on the Sunset Strip

Oh, baby come on, let me take you where the action is. (3X)
It’s so neat to meet ya baby where the action is.

Here’s Freddy singing the song!