‘Snooky’ Flowers, Janis Joplin Band Member, Dies

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“Snooky” Flowers performing with Janis Joplin and the Kozmic Blues Band on The Dick Cavett Show in 1969

“Snooky” Flowers, a saxophonist who most notably organized the Kozmic Blues Band for Janis Joplin in the late 1960s, and performed with her at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, died March 9, 2020, according to various internet reports. The place, cause of death, and his age are not yet known.

After Joplin left Big Brother and the Holding Company, for which she recorded the 1968 landmark Cheap Thrills album, she enlisted Flowers for her new backup group. They were joined by keyboardist Stephen Ryder, former Big Brother guitarist Sam Andrew and bass guitarist Brad Campbell for a 1969 tour.

With many other musicians, they recorded an album for Columbia that summer, I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama!. The album included such covers as the Hart-Rodgers song, “Little Girl Blue,” and a cover of the Barry Gibb – Robin Gibb composition, “To Love Somebody.” Flowers performed sax and sang backing vocals.

Watch Joplin and the Kozmic Blues Band (with Flowers) perform two songs, including “To Love Somebody,” on The Dick Cavett Show

Before the album’s release that September, Joplin performed with the Kozmic Blues Band at the Woodstock festival in upstate New York.

Though I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! didn’t achieve the chart-topping success of Cheap Thrills, it still reached #5 on the U.S. sales chart. The song, “Kozmic Blues,” which Joplin co-wrote, became a minor pop hit.

Joplin replaced the Kozmic Blues Band with the Full Tilt Boogie Band, retaining only Campbell. The new group were recording what ultimately became the Pearl album, when Joplin died on Oct. 4, 1970.

Flowers, whose real name was Cornelius, got into his high school band in Louisiana, playing baritone horn. “But I wanted to be in the jazz band,” he told an interviewer. The band would travel with the football team to road games. When they arrived, “the first thing we had to do was check our instruments and we’d start playing and the girls would come over and start hanging with us.”

A 2010 interview in the Leesville (La.) Daily Leader noted that Flowers enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1964. He ultimately moved to California and its music scene. “I heard this girl sing and I said I sure would like to put a band together for her,” he said.

Besides his tenure with Joplin, Flowers was a notable member of the ’60s-’70s music scene, performing with Mike Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop and others.

Watch Flowers reminisce and perform in 2014

Best Classic Bands Staff

7 Comments so far

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  1. JoeCon
    #1 JoeCon 12 March, 2020, 07:26

    He was a member of the Electric Flag too….

    Reply this comment
  2. Lee
    #2 Lee 12 March, 2020, 12:18


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  3. LR Califoria
    #3 LR Califoria 21 March, 2020, 16:38

    The very best ‼️Peace be with you and T. T. Sending love

    Reply this comment
  4. Smörblomma
    #4 Smörblomma 28 February, 2021, 04:06

    I met him and Janis Joplin & co. in Stockholm twice. First time we saw Fleetwood Mac in the Consert Hall, STO. We were 15 and had an awesome time with them❤️ He wrote me pink letters after this but I was too young…

    Reply this comment
  5. Dakrambo
    #5 Dakrambo 15 February, 2022, 00:03

    These young ladies didn’t do there homework to be speaking to one of the legendary San Francisco musicians like Snookie Flowers and not know who Janis’s Kosmic Blues Band was on a Haight street music festival is not good. ✌️

    Reply this comment

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