They might not be The Everly Brothers or The Bellamy Brothers; in fact, they’re not brothers at all. However, Florida Georgia Line are the latest male duo to take on the Country survey as well as the Hot 100. In fact, both of those previous twosomes managed to land a #1 single on the Hot 100 while accumulating many more on the Country chart. The duo of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard do have to catch up in that regard; their debut single, “Cruise”, is a former #1 Country single that recently cruised on into a new peak of #8 on the Hot 100 after a remix with Nelly has been picking up airplay at mainstream radio. Speaking of cruising, I say we put our pedal to the metal and race down that road to pop perfection to see what other hits have entered the Hot 100 with similar words in their titles. Fasten your seat belts, this may just be a bumpy Billboard ride.
“Sea Cruise”, Frankie Ford (#14, 1959) / “Sea Cruise”, Johnny Rivers (#84, 1971)
From Louisiana, this Southern boy rocked the seas with his top 40 trip, which also cracked the top 20 back in 1959 and was certified Gold. It was Ford’s biggest single to make the Hot 100, but he had a handful of other charting songs which attained minor peaks through the 1960’s. Over a decade later, Rivers took his version onto the national survey, but it didn’t do particularly and is largely forgotten today amongst his bigger singles like “Memphis” (#2, 1964) and “Poor Side Of Town” (#1, 1966). Both male soloists are inducted in the Louisiana Hall Of Fame.
“Shakedown Cruise”, Jay Ferguson (#31, 1979)
After ranking several singles in the 60’s with Spirit and one in 1973 with Jo Jo Gunne, Ferguson decided that third time was the charm and embarked on his own solo career. You may remember his top ten hit from 1978 entitled “Thunder Island”. This was his only other charting song, which got lost in the heat of the disco era. He last released a full-length album in 1982, but he continues to produce and score, best known today for composing the opening theme to The Office.
“Cruisin'”, Smokey Robinson (#4, 1980) / “Cruisin'”, D’Angelo (#53, 1995)
After parting with The Miracles, Robinson began a solo career and scored a number of R&B hits, only two of them became minor top 40 singles on the Hot 100. It was this song that brought him to a #4 peak on both the pop and R&B surveys with a lengthy chart run. It remains his second biggest hit as solo artist behind “Being With You”, which went to #2 in 1981. D’Angelo‘s cover, from his album Brown Sugar, also went to #10 on the R&B chart. A remake by Gwenyth Paltrow and Huey Lewis, from the movie Duets, was a #1 Adult Contempoary hit that just missed the big chart at the end of 2000.
“Still Cruisin’ (After All These Years)”, The Beach Boys (#93, 1989)
Before we surfed the web, we were surfing the waves thanks to these boys from California. After twenty-one top 40 singles between 1962 and 1969, their success abruptly cut off, leading to only six of their singles going top 40 between 1976 and 1985. After a grand resurgence in 1988 with the #1 single “Kokomo”, from the movie Cocktail, they released this. “Still” would be the last song from the Boys to hit the Hot 100, even if it barely made it on. They’ve had four other singles enter the Adult Contemporary chart since then: three in the 90’s and one last year, the #30 “That’s Why God Made The Radio”.
“Cruising For Bruising”, Basia (#29, 1990)
This Polish singer blended pop and jazz and charted with several singles that did even better on the Adult Contemporary chart. Her first two albums both went to #1 on the Jazz chart and also made the top 40 on the Billboard 200. Following a #26 peak for “Time And Tide” in 1988, this could only muster a #29 peak two years later, and she was gone from the charts several months later. Despite a #1 Dance hit in 1994 and a minor Jazz hit a few years ago, she still remains relatively quiet when it comes to recording music and touring.
Of course, if you’re a fan of artists with Cruise in their name, there aren’t many of those. The most successful of them was the quartet Pablo Cruise, who had two #6 singles: “Whatcha Gonna Do?” from 1977 and “Love Will Find A Way” a year later. A total of five of their songs made the top 40 until 1981.
What’s your favorite song to cruise to? Let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.