During a time when Rock and Roll reigned, Snooky Flowers, a saxophonist from Leesville, gave some of the most famous musicians in history some of his jazz flavor. He put together bands for Janis Joplin, worked with Mike Bloomfield, rehearsed with Jimi Hendrix, and brushed elbows with A-list musicians of the 1960s.


During a time when Rock and Roll reigned, Snooky Flowers, a saxophonist from Leesville, gave some of the most famous musicians in history some of his jazz flavor. He put together bands for Janis Joplin, worked with Mike Bloomfield, rehearsed with Jimi Hendrix, and brushed elbows with A-list musicians of the 1960s.
Snooky Flowers didn’t start out at the top. He was born in Chicago. His mother brought him to Leesville when he was just six months old to be with his Grandmother. Snooky attended the historic Vernon School where he learned to play music and fell in love with his art. After school, Snooky continued to play here and there putting together bands.
Shortly thereafter he found out about a gig playing at a dance show much like American Bandstand called “Jive at Five,” every Friday night in Port Authur, Texas. His journey took a detour due to military service, when he joined the United States Army in 1964.
In 1966 Flowers got out of the Army in Oakland, Calif. and in a twist of fate, hooked up with the friends he played with in Texas. After a short stay back in Louisiana, his Texas friends called him back to Oakland to play a few gigs. Little did Snooky know, those gigs were what would lead him to the spotlight.
“You never know you're making history until you look back. We were just living ... playing music back then,” said Snooky.
When he got back to California he started playing with Johnny Tolbert and De Thangs, and on the side Snooky couldn’t resist putting bands together. While he was in California he put together “Snooky and the Kosmic Flowers,” “Big Sambo and the House Wreckers,” “Snooky Flowers and the Headhunters” and several more that played in places like The Filmore Auditorium and The Continental Club, a hot spot in the 1960s in Oakland.  
Through a chance meeting with a member of Mike Bloomfield’s band, Snooky was able to rearrange Bloomfield’s band and record “Live at the Filmore.”
In the meantime, a young female singer — ironically who grew up near Port Arthur — was going through some challenges of her own, breaking up with “Big Brother and the Holding Company." Janis Joplin came to sing with Mike Bloomfield and that’s when Snooky Flowers put the Kozmic Blues Band together for Janis Joplin.
“I heard this girl sing and I said I sure would like to put a band together for her,” said Snooky.  From that point on Janis and the Kozmic Blues Band toured — playing famous venues such as Woodstock, Madison Square Garden, and so many more historic shows.
“We were together for about a year and played all the major concerts: Europe tour 69, Madison Square Garden, Forest Hill. They tried to make us pay for wrecking the tents, but we had a good time,” added Flowers.
Though time has passed and stars such as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix are no longer alive, Snooky still stays in contact with all of his musician friends across the country ... getting together every once in a while for a jam session.
“We are all still in touch. We're still a family,” said Snooky.
These days Snooky still lives in California, but came back to where his heart remains, here in Leesville, for the Vernon Alumni Reunion to see all of the people he grew up with. Snooky will be getting together with local musicians Billy Lewis, Phil Lewis, D. Patrick on base, Odell Wilson, and Riley B Applejack on Aug. 14 at the Sugar Shack to make some new memories right at home.
Though it won't be Woodstock or Madison Square Garden or even the Filmore, you can bet Snooky Flowers' soulful sounds won't be any different.