Billy Joe Royal

Cherry Hill Park

Song Review by

Billy Joe Royal's last chart single came four years after his 1965 breakthrough "Down in the Boondocks," but where that single had a tinge of early '60s innocence about it, "Cherry Hill Park" is…well, innocent is among the last words that come to mind. Although the lyrics deal almost entirely in innuendo, there's little left to the imagination about Mary Hill, who was "such a thrill after dark," and the sort of "games" she got up to in the titular greensward. What's fascinating about this song is that unlike a lot of very similar character studies from the period, there's not an overtly moral twist in the last verse. In fact, other than a line about how all the other girls in town criticized her (itself quickly countered with the rejoinder "But all the boys, they idolized her"), the overall tone is simply one of fond remembrance of the town hussy, one who didn't come to a bad end, but who simply married a rich guy and moved away. Musically, the song is slick, horn-driven soul-pop along the lines of the Classics IV or Blood Sweat and Tears' poppier moments, just the sort of thing that had its chart heyday around this time.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1969
Rock On! [Columbia] 1972
Various Artists
Columbia
No Image 1984
Various Artists
USA / IVE
20 Greatest Hits of 1968 [Deluxe] 1987
Various Artists
Deluxe 3:00
Greatest Hits [Columbia] 1989 Columbia 3:03
Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 1 1990
Various Artists
Rhino 2:44
Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vols. 1-4 1990
Various Artists
Rhino 2:44
Greatest Hits [Hollywood] 1991 Hollywood / IMG 2:59
Greatest Hits [Special] 1992 Special Music 2:50
Down in the Boondocks [Prime Cuts] 1995 St. Clair 2:49
World's Greatest Love Songs [Prime Cuts] 1995
Various Artists
St. Clair / Prime Cuts 2:49
The Best of Billy Joe Royal [Sony] 1995 Sony Music Distribution 3:00
Sixties Love Songs 1996
Various Artists
Boxsets 2:49
Remember When...1969 1996
Various Artists
King / Koch 3:01
Down in the Boondocks/Cherry Hill Park 1997 Collectables 2:49
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Eclipse Music Group
Sixties Power, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:54
Super Hits 2000 Atlantic 3:00
Forever Gold: 60's Decade 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:54
Jukebox Hits 1969 [Madacy] 2002
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:55
Rock N' Roll Hits: Golden 1969 2002
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:54
The Very Best of Billy Joe Royal: The Columbia Years (1965-1971) 2002 Taragon Records 3:15
Grooviest Hits Ever, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:51
20 Years of Rock 'N' Roll 2003
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:54
Grooviest Hits Ever 2003
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:51
Rock N Roll Reunion 1969 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 2:52
Gold Collection: Rock 'N' Roll Party 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:50
Juke Box Hits 1969 2005
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:55