The 11th annual Gulf Coast Gala will be rocking to the sounds of legendary rock-n-roll musician Johnny Rivers on Saturday, April 26, at 6 p.m. inside the Carl Parker Center on the campus of Lamar State College-Port Arthur. Individual tickets to this formal event are $125.
Rivers has had nine Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and 17 in the Top 40 from 1964-1977. In total, he has sold over 30 million records and collected 17 gold records, 29 chart hits and two Grammy Awards.
Dr. Sam Monroe, LSC-PA president, said the Gala, which is co-sponsored by the Port Arthur Higher Education Foundation, provides support for many programs that “enhance career potential, broaden intellectual horizons and enrich the quality of life for people in the area.”
“The gala has grown each year. We’ve had some wonderful entertainers,” Monroe said. “And we’re really looking forward to an exciting performance from Johnny Rivers at this year’s gala.”
The first Gala was created in 2004 to benefit cultural and visual arts at the Museum of the Gulf Coast, and to provide support for the college’s “Discovery” youth program, Alumni Fund, athletic scholarships, musical and theatrical productions and a variety of special projects, such as Lamar State’s July 4 celebration and the Regional Citizen Bee.
Known for his famous red Gibson guitar, Rivers earned his stardom with hits such as “Memphis”, “Mountain of Love”, “The Seventh Son”, “Secret Agent Man”, “Baby I Need Your Lovin’,” “Summer Rain” and “Poor Side of Town”, which was a No. 1 hit.
Born in New York, Rivers and his family moved to Baton Rouge and started his own band, The Spades, while in junior high.
“My dad and uncle used to get together and play these old Italian folk songs on mandolin and guitar,” said Rivers. “In junior high, Fats Domino, Jimmy Reed and guys like that used to play at our dances.”
After playing the South, Rivers went to Los Angeles and worked with the likes of Rickey Nelson and later received a contract to play in the famed Whisky A Go-Go club on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.
After he finished his stint in Los Angeles, Rivers began recording ballads such as “Poor Side of Town” and produced hits for the band The 5th Dimension.
Rivers alongside Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd, Queen, Genesis and Neil Diamond are the few musicians who have their name as the copyright owner of their own recordings.
For information about Rivers, view his official website at johnnyrivers.com .
For event information, call (409) 984-6101.
The Carl Parker Center is located at 1800 Lakeshore Drive in Port Arthur.