1969 The Clique – Sugar On Sunday
The Roustabouts formed in Beaumont, Texas, in the mid-sixties. The group became the Sandpipers, but after another group with that name had a hit record with Guantanamera, they began calling themselves the Clique in 1967. They settled in the Houston area and became a part of the Texas music scene. The 13th Floor Elevators were a group in the area that began calling their music psychedelic, and the Clique created a cover version of Splash 1. The Clique’s single reached #1 in Houston but failed to chart outside of their local area. The group’s lineup changed a few times, and before long, lead singer Randy Shaw and David Dunham were the only two original members left.
The six members of the group moved to California, where they signed with White Whale Records. They began working with songwriter/producer Gary Zekley. Gary had written Yellow Balloon, which was a #25 hit for the group Yellow Balloon in 1967 (Don Grady from My Three Sons was a member of that group). Gary produced the group’s initial recordings. Their first single was a cover of Sugar On Sunday, peaked at #22 in the Fall of 1969. Tommy James was the co-writer of the song and had included the song on his 1968 Crimson And Clover album, but had not released the song as a single.
I played both sides of the record on the radio when I was on the air in Nashville. Gary was the co-writer of the B-side of the record, Superman, which I thought was better than the A-side. REM recorded a cover of that song in 1986, and their single reached #17 on the US Mainstream Rock chart.
Their second single from the album was I’ll Hold Out My Hand, a song co-written by Chip Taylor (who had recently written Wild Thing and Angel of the Morning). The record peaked at #45.
Gary promised that the band could record I’ll Wait A Million Years, and they had worked out an arrangement of the song. Unfortunately, Gary turned the song over to the Grass Roots instead. The Clique had toured with Tommy James, and he offered the group another song he had written, Sparkle And Shine. The single did neither; it spent one week at #100 in 1970 and faded into obscurity.
Unable to come up with another hit, and faced with additional problems when White Whale Records went into bankruptcy, the Clique played their last concert in 1973 and disbanded.
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