Category Archives: Peace Love Art and Activism

Bible Scholar Alan Cooper

Bible Scholar Alan Cooper
Bible Scholar Alan CooperIt should stop surprising me when I do a blog piece on a Sha Na Na band member and discover that he on to do something very much different than recreating 1950s doo wop music. I must remind myself that the members of the band had formed at and were attending Columbia University.

At the Hop

Alan Cooper was one of the original 12-member band and sang bass. He is featured in the Woodstock film when Sha Na Na continues their 30-minute set with a rousing  performance of  “At the Hop.”

He remembers that there was no water to drink, “…but plenty of champagne. The guys in Ten Years After had a camper and lots of food,
which they were happy to share with Cooper and his gang.”

Bible Scholar Alan Cooper

1971 Exodus

He would remain with the band until 1971, a time span that put him on both The Tonight Show and The Merv Griffin Show — no small feat.

He left the band (Jon “Bowser” Bauman replace him) and was graduated from Columbia with a BA in religious studies in 1971 and would go on for additional degrees, a Masters in Philosophy  from Yale University in 1974 a doctorate in Biblical Studies at Yale as well.

Bible Scholar Alan Cooper

Dr Cooper

He served on the faculties of McMaster University and Hebrew Union College. In 1997, he was appointed to a position at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS).

In 1998, he was appointed Professor of Bible at Union Theological Seminary in New York, becoming the first person to hold a joint professorship at both Union and JTS.

Alan Cooper is the provost of JTS and also serves as the Elaine Ravich Professor of Jewish Studies at JTS.

From a South Coast Today article by David Briggs: “The experience of the divine, to know what God wants for the world, what God wants for me, is important to me,” he says.

Quite a path!

Bible Scholar Alan Cooper
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Saxophonist Terry Clements

Saxophonist Terry Clements

Terry Clements in center playing sax with Janis in Germany

Terry Clements has a relatively small internet footprint. We know he played saxophone with Janis Joplin’s briefly formed Kozmic Blues Band at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and that’s why I’ve put together this small piece as I’ve tried to do for all the Woodstock performers.

Electric Flag

Terry Clements also played with the Electric Flag, Leonard Schaeffer, Buddy Miles, Stoneground,  and Michael Bloomfield.

The Electric Flag 1968 album is a live one featuring vocals by Erma Franklin, Aretha’s older sister. The album, as you can imagine, is loud and proud.

Saxophonist Terry Clements

Leonard Schaeffer/Buddy Miles

Leonard Schaeffer is not a common name and his music leans far away from the Electric Flag’s sound.

Buddy Miles leans right back into it.

Saxophonist Terry Clements

Jimi & Janis

He joined the Janis’s Kozmic Blues Band in December 1968 and toured with the band for its brief time, but he sat in with Jimi Hendrix on June 22, 1969 at the Newport festival in Devonshire Downs, CA. By the way, Jimi played the Star Spangled Banner that day, too.

Saxophonist Terry Clements

Stoneground

AllMusic lists Terry as a member of Stoneground for their 1972 Stoneground 3 album. Wikipedia states that, “Stoneground was a rock band formed in 1970 in Concord, California. Originally a trio, Stoneground expanded to a 10-piece band by the time of their eponymous 1971 debut album. The group appeared in two films, Medicine Ball Caravan (1971) and Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), and released three albums before singer Sal Valentino quit in 1973. “

Other than several albums that are reissues of Janis Joplin material,  the internet suggests that Terry has been professionally quiet or at least under the radar.

If anyone can assist, please comment. Thanks.

Saxophonist Terry Clements
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Cornelius Snooky Flowers

Cornelius Snooky Flowers

A 2010 article by Candice Medina Skinner in the Leesville Daily Leader [Louisiana] opens with:  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.

Cornelius Snooky Flowers

Chicago > Leesville

Flowers was born in Chicago, but soon moved to Leesville, Louisiana.  It was there that he found music and like many young musicians, began putting together bands.

120 miles away is Port Arthur, Texas where Flowers played regularly at the Jive at Five dance show on KPAC-TV which had “colored days” — meaning that blacks were allowed on the show.

Snooky had an army hitch from 1964 to 1966. He was discharged in  Oakland, CA and serendipitously found some of his Texas musician friends there.

Cornelius Snooky Flowers

Army > Oakland

After a brief return back to Leesville, he returned to Oakland and its music. 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.

Along the way he met and joined Mike Bloomfield and in February 1969 became part of Bloomfield’s famed recording “Live at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West.”

Cornelius Snooky Flowers

Bloomfield > Joplin

Janis Joplin had left Big Brother and was forming another band. Mike Bloomfield was helping and he enlisted Snooky help form the band, too. Out of that came the Kozmic Blues Band.

Cornelius Snooky Flowers
Flowers on far right

On July 18, 1969, the band performed on the Dick Cavett Show.

Cornelius Snooky Flowers

Woodstock

Snooky was with the band at Woodstock and for the rest of Kozmic’s tour.

AllMusic shows that in addition to Joplin and Bloomfield, Snooky has also recorded with Elvin Bishop and Nick Gravenites.

He also appeared in the documentary films Janis Joplin and Her Group (1969), Janis: Little Girl Blue (2015) and American Masters (1985).

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