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Phillips' 1959 recording of "Sea of Love" peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It became a gold record. It was the only top-40 chart song for Phillips, who never recorded another hit. Baptiste, who was working as a bellboy in Lake Charles, Louisiana, wrote "Sea of Love" for a love interest. He was introduced to local record producer George Khoury, who brought Baptiste into his studio to record the song. At Khoury's request, Baptiste took the stage name of Phil Phillips. The song, originally credited to Phil Phillips with The Twilights, was released on a small record label owned by Khoury, but due to its success was eventually leased to Mercury Records. Despite the song's success, Phillips claims that he has only ever received US$6,800 for recording it.