Sea Cruise

Album: Sea Cruise: The Very Best Of Frankie Ford (1959)
Charted: 14
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  • This rollicking song was written by Huey "Piano" Smith, a popular New Orleans piano player who wrote the song "Rockin' Pneumonia." He recorded the original version in New Orleans with Gerri Hall.

    The song is driven by the "Oo-ee, oo-ee baby" chorus before the title line comes in: "Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise?"

    Surprisingly, there are no other nautical references in the lyric, although the rhythm infers the rocking motion on a boat.
  • 19-year-old Frankie Ford was brought in to record a younger sounding, more commercially successful vocal track than the blues-based original. It worked, as the song became a hit.
  • The song was originally recorded by Huey Smith and the Clowns, but Frankie Ford's lead vocal replaced Huey Smith's while the group was on tour. Smith was furious when he heard the finished product. It was credited to Frankie Ford with Huey "Piano" Smith and The Clowns.
  • The idea of the bells and the horns came from Ace Records' management. The producers and musicians were aghast as the sound effect horns were in a different key than the song's real horn section.
  • Ford re-wrote some of the lyrics so he could get a songwriter credit. Smith really got screwed on this one.
  • Herman's Hermits cover version was a hit at the peak of the first British Invasion. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for above 3
  • This was one of many songs used as a nickname by ESPN announcer Chris Berman. He used it for a baseball player: outfielder Jose "Won't You Let Me Take You On A Sea" Cruz.

Comments: 8

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer:
    Frankie Ford, the "New Orleans Dynamo" of swamp pop, died Monday (September 28th, 2015) at the age of 76 after what was termed a "lengthy illness"...
    He was born in Gretna, Louisiana, near New Orleans, and lived there all his life. Entering show business at an early age, he competed on Ted Mack's "Amateur Hour" on radio as a child and appeared in many local shows. Frankie started a group in high school featuring himself as vocalist and pianist and came to the attention of the owner of Ace Records, who offered him a contract. "Cheatin' Woman" was his first record and became a regional hit but the follow-up, "Sea Cruise" (originally the B-side of "Roberta") landed him at #14 in early 1959...
    Though four other chart tunes on Ace and Imperial Records failed to get any higher than #72 and a stint in the Army further de-railed his career, Frankie's position as an oldies staple was already assured...
    He appeared in the movie "American Hot Wax" in 1978 and was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2010...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 23rd 1959, Frankie Ford performed "Sea Cruise" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #24 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; fourteen days later on April 6, 1959 it peaked at #14 {for two non-consecutive weeks - after its first week it fell to #15 ("The Tijuana Jail" by the Kingston Trio was at #14), the following week Mr. Ford moved back into the #14 position for it's second and final week} and spent 17 weeks on the Top 100...
    He had four* other Top 100 records; "Alimony" {#97 in 1959}, "Time After Time" {#75 in 1960}, "You Talk Too Much" {#87 in 1960}, and "Seventeen" [#72 in 1961}
    Mr. Ford, his given name is Francis Guzzo, he was adopted at an early age, will celebrate his 76th birthday this coming August 4th {2015}...
    * All five of his Top 100 records are available on You Tube.
  • Susan from Atlanta, GeorgiaI didn't realize Johnny Rivers had covered this song. It makes sense, since he flew so high with "Rockin' Pneumonia" and it was written by the same person. I saw Johnny in concert on my birthday a few years ago -- a truly awesome event. I've loved his music since "Summer Rain" in the late '60s.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 2nd 1971, Johnny Rivers' covered version of "Sea Cruise" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #98; it stayed on the chart for 4 weeks, peaking at #84...
    As already stated, the Herman Hermits also covered it; in the U.S.A. it was the B-side of "Just A Little Bit Better", which reached #7 on the Top 100 in 1965...
    Mr. Rivers, born John Henry Ramistella, will celebrate his 72nd birthday this coming November 7th, 2014 and Peter 'Herman' Noone, born Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone, was also born in November; he will turn 67 years old on Nov. 5th, 2014.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, Cajohnny Vincent and his company ACe Records made
    some cool records..the story behind this one
    as I am reading it on this website is a strange one.
  • Memphis "piano" Joe from Los Angeles, CaI made a piano instrumental version of "Sea Cruise" - you can hear it at
    just scroll down to "Track 2"

    Your fellow Sea Cruise fan,
    Memphis Piano Joe (search my name at YouTube)
  • Walter from Antwerp, BelgiumThe horn arrangement was later copied by The Clash in 'Wrong 'Em Boyo' (1979), in itself a cover of a rather obscure rock steady track by Jamaican group The Rulers.
  • Rick from San Juan, United StatesIn one of the many memorable scenes from the 1978 movie "American Hot Wax", Frankie lip-syncs "Sea Cruise" while in the recording studio making a hit record. Fantastic film. Too bad it's still not available on DVD.
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