One Hit Wonders: Frankie Ford (1959)

"Sea Cruise"
B-side: "Roberta"
Released: 1959
Recorded: 1958
Songwriter: Huey "Piano" Smith 

Frankie Ford and Me

The year I was born, Frankie Ford had his only hit song, Sea Cruise. It didn't come to my attention until 1978.  I was dating a guy named Chuck from the small town of Sardis, Georgia. Sardis was in Burke County. It was 'dry' ; as in, no alcohol could be sold within county limits. 

Chuck's father had a still and his favorite song was Sea Cruise. So, at one of Chuck's parent's 'hoe-downs', I was introduced to Frankie Ford and to moonshine. I liked the song a lot, but I mixed Coca-Cola with my whiskey and got a lot of laughs. Evidently, moonshine isn't for mixed drinks. I couldn't drink it straight. From that point on, I was known in Sardis as the City Boy who couldn't handle moonshine.

Huey Smith and the Clowns

Huey "Piano" Smith, a New Orleans piano player, wrote both this song and "Rockin' Pneumonia." 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. Ford even re-wrote some of the lyrics so he could get a songwriter credit. It was credited to Frankie Ford with Huey "Piano" Smith and The Clowns. Smith was furious when he heard the finished product.

Herman's Hermits

Herman's Hermits

Herman's Hermits cover version was a hit at the peak of the first British Invasion. 

Other Covers
Sea Cruise
Frankie Ford


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