You Say It's Your Birthday: Frankie Ford

Today is the birthday of singer Frankie Ford, who was born in Gretna,

Louisiana 58 years ago. Ford is one of the best-known New Orleans rockers of

all time, scoring success with his piano-backed sound that led him to sell

more than 30 million copies of his "Sea Cruise." Ford was one of Ace

Records' attempts to create a teen idol by finding someone who could sing

well and plugging them as a hot act. Although "Sea Cruise" was originally

performed by another singer -- Huey "Piano" Smith backed by the Clowns --

Ford's vocals replaced Smith's in the final cut, and the song became a top-20 hit.

Ford continued to make songs, including "Alimony" and collaborations with

Mac Rebennack (aka Dr. John). Other hits came, such as "You Talk Too Much" and "Seventeen," but Ford's career took a dip when he was drafted in 1962. He

returned to music after his discharge, but mostly as a relic, performing in

oldies package tours. He's only released one record, Best of Frankie


Other birthdays: Elsbeary Hobbs (The Drifters), David Carr (Fortunes), Paul

Layton (New Seekers), Klaus Schultze (Tangerine Dream), Paul Reynolds (A

Flock Of Seagulls).