He learned to play the guitar as a boy and in high school formed a band
Singing vocals, he emulated the hard-driving style of singing star, Little Richard. Picariello signed with Swan Records in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a recording studio in which music promoterDick Clark had an interest, and who brought him national exposure through numerous appearances on the television program, American Bandstand.
In March 1960 Cannon's album, The Explosive Freddy Cannon, gave him the distinction of being the first rock and roll singer to have a #1 album in the UK, beating Elvis Presley, who had been the more likely contender for that honour.
A resident of Tarzana, California, Cannon continues to put on performances at assorted concert venues.