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Rock The Boat

by

Hues Corporation



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

The Hues Corporation was a Los Angeles band formed in 1969. They were a black vocal group comprised of Hubert Ann Kelly, St. Clair Lee and Fleming Williams. Their name was a pun on billionaire Howard Hughes' corporation.
This was arguably the first Disco song to hit #1 in the US. The instrumental hit "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)" also had a Disco sound and was released 3 months earlier.
Richard Finch of KC & The Sunshine Band told Songfacts that "Rock The Boat" played a partial role in inspiring the hit "Rock Your Baby," which he wrote with Harry Wayne Casey. Finch tells us: "Harry and I were also paying attention to the chart actions at clubs, because club records, according to Henry’s direction, were doing better than just regular R&B Records. Back then you could sneak into a club and they didn’t check your ID, so Harry and I would once in a while go sneak into the local clubs. There was one on Southwest 8th Street in Miami, Florida, that played dance music. We’d go in there for about an hour or two until it got to be way too late for us to be there. And we’d pay attention to what brought the people to the dance floor, and what made them sit down. So we started gearing ourselves to writing more in that direction. 'Rock Your Baby' was inspired by the gathering of all that information." (check out our full interview with Richard Finch)
In an interview with Classicbands.com, Hues Corporation member St. Clair Lee said, "It was a song that you could do anything on. You could cuddle or you could get crazy if you wanted to. It was a love song without being a love song. But, it was a Disco hit and it happened because of the discos."
This was used in commercials for M&Ms candy, and it was also featured in the 1999 movie Man On The Moon. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Hues Corporation
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Comments (9):

Maybe it was the 'first' disco hit on the radio. But it will always remind me of the summer I graduated from High School - 1974.
- 70s Flashback, staten island, NY
Many of us will remember this song as being very popular during the summer of '74 and being played on the car radio while we took "driver's training", the driving part! This is just a terrific, upbeat song with cleverly written words, a catchy refrain, and calming, yes, calming vocals that capture that boat ride thru the storms that they're singing about. Who doesn't want to be "sailing with a cargo full of love and deVOtion"???
- Camille, Toronto, OH
This song was also featured in "The Sinbad Show".
- Kaila, Ottawa, ON
MY FIRST HUSBAND GARY, PASSED AWAY ON SUNDAY OCT. 7TH, 2007. WE GOT MARRIED IN 1973 AND THIS SONG CAME OUT IN 74. I LOVED IT AND IT HAS ALWAYS REMINDED ME OF OUR TIMES TOGETHER. I FEEL HIS SPIRIT AROUND ME, SO I TOLD HIM I WOULD HEAR THIS SONG ON THE CAR RADIO TODAY AND WOULD KNOW HE WAS NEAR ME. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, IT PLAYED THIS MORNIING AFTER I TOOK MY DAUGHTER TO WORK. SO I KNOW GARY WAS RIDING IN THE CAR WITH ME. OUR LOVE WAS FULL OF DEVOTION. BUT I ROCKED THE BOAT I GUESS.
- Rhonda, MARTINSVILLE, VA
The name was changed to "Hues" from "Hughes" to avoid being sued by Howard Hughes. I have read many books about Howard Hughes, and he would become furious at The Hues Corporation for being composed entirely of African-Americans as well as for trademark infringement.
- Darrell, Eugene
THIS SONG ENLIGHTENED ME T0 AN APPARANT BLINDNES OF PEOPLES SELF INFLATED IMPORTANCE: I WAS 15 YEARS OLD WHEN I FIRST HEARD IT...IT MAY HAVE A DISCO REPUTATION ...AND SOME HOW I MISSED THAT AND ATTACHED MY RATICAL SEARCH FOR HARMONY ALONG WITH A NEW FOUND QUEST FOR WORLD PEACE "TO EVERY WORD" AND IT OPENED MY EYES TO A HARMONEOUS SOCIAL AND POLITICAL STATEMENTS....THIS WAS (AND STILL IS !) A SIMPLE YET PROFOUND PHILISOPHICAL MESSAGE TO THOSE SENSITIVE TO SELF-EXAMINATION,AND A RALLYING WILLINGNESS THAT IS MOTIVATED BY HOPE AND LIVES THROUGH COURAGE AND HONSTY...DISCO MADE ITS MARK ..INDEED IT DID
- sara r beaty, KINGS MTN., NC
Before "Rock The Boat," the Hues Corporation also charted with a ballad, "Freedom For The Stallion."
- Robin, Birmingham, AL
It's also featured in Carlito's Way.
- A.J., Vancouver, Canada
This song was also played in a Pepsi One Commercial several years back.
- Graham, Lake Worth, FL
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