Denny Flannigan began his career at the age of 15 when he won the ‘Kiwanis Stars of Tomorrow‘ contest with his ragtime rendition of ‘Maple Leaf Rag‘. Classically trained on the piano since the age of 9, Denny has always been the first to open any piano anywhere to check out the sound. While at the University of Colorado in his freshman year Denny spotted a Wurlitzer electric piano and life as he knew it changed forever. Armed with the ‘Wurly 140‘ electric keyboard, a Sears Silvertone Amp and a powerful new sound, he became a member of the 'Surfin Classics' who renamed themselves The ‘Moonrakers‘ (after the James Bond Novel). Denny upgraded to the obligatory Fender Showman Amp and within a year the Moonrakers had a number one song on the Charts. The song ‘You’ll Come Back’ was written by Denny and released on Tower/Capital Records hitting the number 1 spot for five consecutive weeks throughout the western United States. The Moonrakers are a significant chapter of Colorado music history and became Colorado’s top band from 1964-66. The Moonrakers traveled to L.A. and across the country, opening for Sonny and Cher, Glenn Campbell, The Dave Clark 5, the Lovin‘ Spoonful, Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Byrds and many other acts of the era. Denny remembers The Moonrakers
After the band mates went their own way, Denny met Gary Muledeer and joined Gary on stage for a local benefit where they remained together for five years, which was a long time to stand in one spot... Thus began the Muledeer and Moondogg Medicine Show, a unique comedy duo who performed on a wide variety of television shows including the ‘Midnight Special‘, ABC’s ‘In Concert’, The John Byner Show, Jack Paar‘s Tonight Show, The Merv Griffin Show and were signed with ABC Television as writers and performers. The duo performed at over 300 colleges across the country and played with and /or opened for the Doobie Brothers, The Beach Boys, Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, the Guess Who, War, Sly and the Stoned Family, BB King, Tommy James and the Shondells, John Denver and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to name a few. Denny has recorded, performed or written material with Brian Wilson, Earth Wind and Fire, Cash McCall and Jim Stafford. He has also written music for television specials and films.
Denny moved to California and spent most of the 70’s touring to the best of his recollection. In 1979, Denny ‘raised the bar‘ in piano entertainment by taking his unique rock piano into the legendary ‘Scotch and Sirloin‘ in Denver where he got a chance to really build up calluses on his fingers. In the corporate arena, Denny was a member of the esteemed Dream Team as creative consultant for Glenn Jones and Jones Intercable in Denver, Co. in the mid 80's.
Aspen was next on the career stop where he entertained world travelers and skiers at the famed Copper Kettle Nightclub at the base of Little Nell from 1987-1990. His career transitioned as he moved to Laguna Beach and started a new band, The ‘Suns of the Beaches‘ and created a new company called Beach Cities Entertainment. Denny honed his skills as an MC and along with his new bride, Sandra Jean, the company promoted and planned large corporate events and Beach Luaus specializing in creating custom tailored event planning.
In 2003, Denny and Sandi moved to San Felipe where they currently reside. He currently performs at Juanitos Cantina at La Ventana del Mar Beach and Golf Resort at El Dorado Ranch.
‘Don’t need no Reason to Party‘, Denny‘s original song became an ‘Official Anthem‘ of San Felipe locals and vacationers. Bumper stickers with the slogan are widely seen in San Felipe and are popping up in many US states. Visitors from all over the world visit San Felipe and are currently enjoying not only the ‘Suns of Beaches‘ but also the newly introduced live game show, ‘Name That Tune Baja!' which has been drawing capacity crowds every Thursday night. To see photos of where Denny lives, please click on ‘Denny‘s Casa.‘ San Felipe is filled with many Mexican locals, Gringos, and an array of colorful characters, all who are a ‘little to the left‘ of center. Check out the highlights under San Felipe. There is a variety of information, photos and answers to the question...'Why Mexico?'
Cover photo-Richard Whetstone