Kennedale Singer/Songwriter makes history at the LA Music Awards Ceremony

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If you stay with something you love just maybe, just maybe you will still be doing it later in life, loving it more and realizing a dream. Lannie Flowers, a local Kennedale resident, is just one who has found success doing what he loves ?singing and song-writing.

From a small town high school band to years on the road playing honky-tonks, college watering-holes and building a small but loyal fan base, Flowers, working out of his own studio in a converted garage has achieved a recognition no one else has, winning four LA Music Awards in one year. {{more}}

November 14th in Los Angeles, Flowers received honors for Record of the Year, Rock Artist of the Year, Social Media Artist of the Year and Breakthrough Video of the Year. This past year his video ?Another Weekend? was the #1 video on MTV in March as the “Most Shared Video”, “Most Commented Video” and was #7 for “Most Viewed Video”. His 2010 album, ?Circles?, was named the Album of the Year by Power Pop Station Magazine. And locally, he was named by as ?DFW Entertainer of the Year.? Hear some of his songs at Lannie Flowers website.

Lannie Flowers

If you have been around as long as Lannie in the music world, you are going to find a lot written about you. Lannie has had his fair share. In an interview, by Joe Montague for Riveting Riffs, Flowers gave this account of his early years in Kennedale and the start of his interest in music.

?I grew up in Kennedale and I got out of here as fast as I could and then I came back here. It is between Dallas and Fort Worth (near Arlington). It used to be in the middle of nowhere, but now it is just part of the whole thing. I had one sister about four years younger than me and a mother and a father, just like everybody else. When I went to school, all twelve grades were in the same general area. Now it is all spread out. There were thirty-six kids in my graduating class. There really wasn?t much to do here. If we wanted to do something, we had to go to Fort Worth. When I was a kid there wasn?t even a Dairy Queen. There were a few gas stations and a grocery store. That is one of the reasons that I wanted to get out of here as quickly as I could, because you would go to school and see the same people, go to church and see the same people and you would go to the football game and you would see the same people. I just wanted to see some different people,? he says laughing.

Kennedale in the 1960?s

While growing up, it was the music of the British Invasion and then later it was artists such as David Bowie and Mott The Hoople, also from the U.K., which caught Lannie Flowers? ear.

?Then when Punk Rock came out, I latched onto that, because I never really liked corporate radio stuff. I also loved that middle period of The Beatles, Rubber Soul and Revolver. I like music that doesn?t necessarily follow trends. I liked that middle period of the Kinks, when nobody was buying their records, except for me and that one guy in California (he laughs). I like people who just blazed their own path,? he says.

At this point a life changing event occurred for Lannie Flowers, as a 12 year old boy named David [Hamrick] showed him the electric guitar that he got for Christmas.

?All of the girls were oohing and awing, so, I said hey, you and me need to start a band (he laughs). I saw that as though it would be an easy way to meet girls, so we got a little band together and we played at the high school beauty pageant during the intermission. All of a sudden the high school girls were talking to me and I was only twelve years old. I thought this is a pretty good deal. Another kid [James Laxon] who lived in the area had a drum set and we played The Beatles? songs and Paul Revere and the Raiders. It just took off from there. When I got into junior high I started hanging out with some older guys and I found some better players. There was only one guy around who had a full drum kit and he was four years older than me, but I talked him into joining the band, like when I was in the seventh grade,? says Flowers.

On Cheap Rewards Blog, the band that would have a great influence on him and his evolving musical career was discussed.

The Pengwins

The band, which eventually became known as The Pengwins, began playing dances and parties wherever they could secure gigs with an ever evolving cast of members until Lannie was about 16. If you count the beginnings years there has been at least 13 different members of the band. (Cheap Rewards). The Pengwins? members eventually settled into Lannie Flowers on guitar and vocals, Delbert Raines bassist, and David Bryan as drummer. The Penguins added Alan Petsche to guitar and vocals and Danny Wilkerson replaced Bryan on drums.

The story behind the name, The Pengwins, according to Flowers? facebook page, comes from ?when the band was asked about a song they were playing and the bass player said they were going to have sixty-nine penguins singing in the background and for some reason, the name just stuck.?

Their problem at the time was that they [The Pengwins] were too different for the average Joe but not unique enough for the hard core punks to fit in with the DFW scene. They realized they had to travel to find their audience. They kept busy playing frat parties and high school functions throughout the state. Eventually they were traveling so much that the band became their full time job and in 1981 they were only home about 90 days out of the whole year. The early 80s had them opening for Thin Lizzy and Cheap Trick amongst many others. They even shared the stage with Badfinger and the Guess Who, who were still grasping for life. (Cheap Rewards Blog)

The band which did successfully tour throughout America and in the U.K. a few times, had a Japanese tour canceled the night before they were supposed to leave, when the booking agent was put in jail. And then there was the Alaska/Hawaii trip.

Again on Riveting Riffs, Flowers recalls, ?We went to Anchorage, Alaska to play for a month, so we could go to Hawaii to play for three months. We thought that would be a good deal to spend the summer in Hawaii, but somehow when we got up to Alaska, the owner (of the venue) got cross with the booking agent and he said, okay I will just fire them (The Pengwins). They were paying our flights and everything and we were stuck in Alaska with no way home and no way to get our equipment back. It was a mess. It got so bad that we were rolling hotdogs on the hood of the truck to heat them up a little bit. That is how bad it got. When I finally got home, I had nine cents in my pocket. That was in 1984. (Riveting Riffs)

The group did have successes. On Flowers? facebook page, he lists the albums by the group. The

Pengwins on later tour

Pengwin?s first album included ?Life After High School?, produced by Fabb Records in 1978, showcasing the song ?Life After High School?. In 1981, The Pengwins contributed another album entitled ?Small Vacation?, by Artic Records. In 1988, The Pengwins constructed another album ?Mad About the Band?, produced by Circle Records. Their most recent album contains ?Life After High School?, in 2004 by Aaron Avenue Records. Songs on the album contain ?It?s a Dream?, ?Look Around You?, and ?Suicide?.

Eventually the end came for The Pengwins January 4, 1993. It was described in a story by Bud Kennedy on the front page of the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

FORT WORTH – Arlington’s fabled party band, The Pengwins, took the stage Friday night playing the Rolling Stones’ It’s All Over Now, and for the first time in 22 years, it really is.

A few twentysomethings and sturdy thirtysomethings in the crowd dabbed at wet eyes, and for once it wasn’t the smoke in the Pig & Whistle Pub. This was a reunion and farewell concert for Lannie Flowers’ durable bar band, a night officially dubbed “The Last Waddle.”

? that from 1979 to Friday night, The Pengwins played the Cars’ and the Stones’ and the Kinks’ songs on the road at Mother Blues, the Agora Ballroom, Blossom’s Downstairs and fraternity bashes and roadhouse college nightclubs across America. …

“Now, people come up and say, `You used to play my high school,’ and they’re like 150 years old,” said Flowers, 36, a co-founder of the band in his family’s Kennedale garage.

“I’ve spent more of my life with The Pengwins than away from The Pengwins, so this is like losing a major part of my life,” said longtime drummer Danny Wilkerson, 33, of Fort Worth, now wearing a short professional haircut instead of his giant perm.

Wilkerson was one of 13 ex-Pengwins who showed up to play at least a few songs Friday. By night’s end they gathered beneath the Pig & Whistle’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth, jamming on one last chorus of Louie Louie and the mandatory 2 a.m. encore: Wild Thing. ? (Star Telegram)

Lannie didn?t give up on his love. He built a recording studio in his garage and continued making music.

Aaron Avenue Records

Alan and Delbert started the Aaron Avenue Records label in 1994 and have released work by Lannie and other Texas artists. Alan is now chief operating officer for a major aerospace firm A.E. Petsche Co. Delbert continues to work with Aaron Avenue as chief operating officer and marketing manager. Danny?s continued to play drums in other groups including a cover band called The Waltons with Lannie for a while. He also became a commercial real estate broker and was Mayor of Annetta North. The Pengwins still play reunion shows on occasion. (Cheap Rewards Blog)

CD release

On the development of his Same Old Story album Flowers put it this way on his facebook page.

“Several years ago I realized I had a lot of unfinished songs that I probably was never going to finish. “It struck me that they were all about teen angst, looking for girls, finding girls, losing girls, etc. “I thought it might be a good idea to make a long medley that told a story using those songs. “It rolled around in my head for years before I actually got a chance to put it together. “I had built a small studio in my garage, and figured it would be a good first project. “Ten years later it saw the light of day (funny how life gets in the way). “It was basically my little science project; I just wanted to see what it actually sounded like all put together. “The main thing is that I wanted it to be the roller coaster ride that a young man experiences growing up and falling in and out of love.”

This led to his second cd, ?Circles,? again with the support and encouragement of his old band mates at Aaron Avenue Records. ?Circles? was an immediate winner.

“I had no idea I would be given a second chance,” said Lannie. Most of the songs on “Circles” have been floating around in his head and on home recordings for years, so when Aaron Ave Records asked for a full album, Lannie knew exactly what he wanted to record. “When I write, I like to look at other people’s situations, as well as my own, for inspiration. “It’s always good to get a different perspective on things.” Many of the tracks on “Circles” are about making the same mistakes repeatedly and is a more mature way of dealing with the same situations dealt with as a younger man on “Same Old Story.”

And this led to LA and the annual Music Awards.

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