Born: Aug. 4, 1939
Died: Sept. 28, 2015
Frankie Ford was adopted as a child and grew up in the New Orleans suburb of Gretna, Louisiana. He began performing in 1945, when he was five years old appearing at local gigs with the likes of Sophie Tucker, Ted Lewis, and Carmen Miranda. He entered and won many local, regional and national vocal competitions. In 1952, he performed on The Ted Mack Amateur Hour in New York. In high school he played piano and sang for a group called The Syncopators. His early piano influences were Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Huey Smith, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, and Professor Longhair. His first regional hit was “Cheatin' Woman” on Ace Records, followed by the song for which he is most remembered, “Sea Cruise”, which reached #14 on the charts in 1959. Frankie was only nineteen.
His other hits included Roberta, Alimony (#97), Time After Time (#75), I Want To Be Your Man, Danny Boy, and What's Going On. In 1960 he moved to Imperial Records where he recorded You Talk Too Much, (a cover of Joe Jones version), Seventeen, Saturday Night Fish Fry, Dog House, The Groom, Let Them Talk, and A Man Only Does. Two years later he was drafted into the Army where he became a member of the Special Forces, entertaining troops in Vietnam, Korea and the U.S. He became known as the "New Orleans Dynamo" and "The King of Swamp Pop", continuing to perform and record until 2009.