Saturday, at the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame Show, Bridge City High alumnus, Larry Lawson, Class of 1963, will be inducted as one of the founding members of "The Clique".

Lawson’s love for music began as a child of 5. He was crippled and wore braces from the age of 5 until he was 12 years old.

"Since I was a hyper child, the docs suggested to my parents activities that would keep me inside and off my legs…thus piano lessons at age 5," he said. "I gravitated to the piano like a duck to water, especially playing by ear…making up my own songs. I began writing music at an early age and copyrighted my first songs at age 13. Thinking back, "Everyone who knew me throughout junior high and high school knew me for playing music." Lawson played most of the different school instruments growing up as they were stored at his house.

He met Johnny and Edgar Winter while performing at the Don Mahoney and Jena Clare show in Beaumont.

Edgar will also be at the concert, Saturday, to receive his induction certificate. (He was actually entered into the hall of fame about 20 years ago.)

The Clique came about after Lawson was asked to "listen" and "give tips" to a group called the Roustabouts. After some changes in the group that were suggested by Lawson, he joined the group and became the band leader. They changed the name to the Sandpipers and played a variety of school dances, proms, the DERA and area clubs.

After winning a battle of the bands competition in Houston, they recorded their first record, Splash1, at Andrus Productions. "He (Andrus) didn’t have any ideas for a "B" side, so I wrote ‘Stay By Me.’" "It sold more records in Houston and the Golden Triangle area than any other record in history. This launched us to national recognition and we were picked up by Scepter Records in New York," said Lawson

The group toured in Canada and the states with other bands, then cut a self-titled album Lawson said,

"The group had four national top 100 hits off that album. They were ‘Sugar On Sunday,’ ‘Superman,’ ‘ Judy, Judy, Judy’ and ‘I’ll Hold Out My Hand.’ All in all, The Clique sold over 5 million records."

All those accomplishments have qualified Lawson and The Clique to be inducted to the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame Saturday. They will be performing together for the first time in 35 years.

Also performing at the concert will be The Beat Daddys,a Southern Rockin" Blues band. Dan Aykroyd as Elwood Blues has stated that they were, "a smokin’ four-piece band. Don’t take my word for it. Check these guys out for yourself!"

Spin Magazine published, "It feels like Johnny Winter and Carl Perkins meet Bob Seger and Mitch Ryder." They have toured nationally with the likes of B. B. King, Little Milton, Koko Tayler, Tower of Power, Delbert McClinton and Johnny Winter

Andra Mitrovich will be featured as the Pearl of Port Arthur, Janis Joplin, who the event was originally named for in honor of her birthday. Janis would have been 65 this year. She also performs with "98 In The Shade".

Edgar Winter is not scheduled to perform that night, but word has it that one of his band members has requested the use of a keyboard from one of the other performers. Winter has toured all over the world and has many hits to his name with the most famous being "Free Ride" and "Frankenstein"

His music continues to evolve and keeps popping up in commercials and films.Working in many different genres, including rock, jazz, blues, country, pop, and R&B, Winter keeps churning out the music in Beverly Hills where the lives with his wife Monique and their little dog Mimi.

The doors open at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Carl Parker Multi Purpose Center Lamar State College Port Arthur.

Advance tickets are still on sale for $20 until Thursday afternoon at the Penny Record office in Bridge City at 333 Roundbunch or at Harry’s Appliance in Orange at 302 10th St. Tickets will be $22 at the door with children under 12 getting in free.

For more info on Lawson, visit the spotlight area of the Bridge City Alumni Assoc. website

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.