Passings: Chuck Barris, Game Show Producer/Host, Writer of "Palisades Park" (1929 - 2017)

by VVN Music

Chuck Barris, the curly haired manic host of television's The Gong Show and creator of many other hit game shows, died Tuesday of natural causes at his home in Palisades, NY at the age of 87.

While normally we wouldn't cover a television personality here at VVN Music, there is one piece of Barris' resume that his important to music fans. He wrote the top five hit Palisades Park.

Barris was born in Philadelphia and went to Drexel University where he was a columnist for the student newspaper.

Chuck became a page and, later, a staffer at NBC. In the late-50's, he moved to ABC who gave him the job of tailing Dick Clark and watching his actions during the time when the American Bandstand host was suspected of accepting payola.

He also occasionally wrote music including a song about an unnamed amusement park.  He later changed it to New Jersey's Palisades Park and the record, recorded by Freddy Cannon, went to number 3 in the U.S.


Barris would later go on to write the themes for a number of his game shows.

ABC eventually moved Barris to the west coast where he worked in daytime programming and, on June 14, 1965, he formed Chuck Barris Productions which created such hits as The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game and other shows.

Barris is probably best known as the producer and host of The Gong Show which aired on NBC from 1976 to 1978 and lived on for many years in syndication.

Chuck also wrote the book Confessions of a Dangerous Mind in which he claimed he had worked as an assassin for the CIA. He released a sequel, Bad Grass Never Dies, in 2004.

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