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.
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.