Album:Sea Cruise and Other Hits
The 1959 top twenty hit Sea Cruise is one of the all time great one hit wonders. Frankie Ford may have never had another big hit but he's still around today. He was born Francis Guzzo Aug. 4, 1939 in Gretna, LA which is just across New Orleans divided by the Mississippi River. Ford performed as a child and appeared on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour in 1952. In high school he led The Syncopators. Ford says his musical influences include Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Huey "Piano" Smith and Fats Domino. He was approached by the New Orleans distributor for Ace Records about recording. So here's the weird thing about Sea Cruise. The song was written and originally recorded by New Orleans music legend Huey "Piano" Smith with Bobby Marchan on vocals. Producer Johnny Vincent decided to record Ford's vocals over the existing backing track. He also added foghorns and other sound effects. Sea Cruise reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. Ford recorded a few more singles for Ace and then signed with Imperial Records in 1960. Despite working with legendary producer Dave Bartholomew, none of Ford's records clicked. And his career was interrupted when Ford enlisted in the US Army in 1962. You can get Sea Cruise and Ford's recordings of the era on this comp from Jasmine Records. Ford has recorded occasionally over the years and he has always performed with great energy. That's why he is called the New Orleans Dynamo. Here's Frankie Ford performing Sea Cruise on The Dick Clark Beech Nut Show Mar. 21, 1959.