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Georgia Power businessman takes stage to sing and help local co-op

DULUTH -- Georgia Power's Regions External Affairs Manager, Herman Pennamon Jr. is performing with a live band tonight at the Gwinnett Place Marriott.

During the day, he works in the company's large Public Relations department, but this evening he steps into the spotlight to showcase his first love: music.

"I've been singing all my life," Pennamon said.

IF YOU GO

• What: Herman Pennamon, Jr. concert

• When: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight

• Where: Gwinnett Place Marriott, 1775 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth

• For more information: visit hpennamon.com

"I've been singing all my life," Pennamon said.

He grew up surrounded by music in his church. At 6 years old, he sang along with his mother who was in gospel group.

When Pennamon was 13 years old, he explains "something happened." In high school, he joined his band to play the trumpet.

"A group of us guys in high school began to play around in the afternoons," Pennamon said. "People started gathering around, listening to us and starting liking us. We thought, 'Hey, maybe we've got something here.'"

The young men created a soul group and toured around the country every weekend. Their biggest claim to fame was opening for James Brown at the Macon Coliseum.

Tonight Pennamon will be singing R&B music with an eight-piece band. There will be trumpet, trombone, saxophone, two guitars, bass, keyboard, drums and background vocalists. And he didn't just find the group over night; he's been working to put them together for years. In the past, many of these professional musicians played with other headline names, such as The Temptations, Johnnie Taylor and Bootsy Collins of Parliament-Funkadelic. Now they are music teachers in the Gwinnett County school system.

"It's the real music," Pennamon said. "I want to bring to bring the real live sound back."

That's the music he grew up with and what he likes. He described it as "in his blood."

Pennamon will be singing a blend of original songs he has written and covers from famous performers, like Smokey Robinson, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Tyrone Davis.

"The songs we have chosen are songs that were all big hits," Pennamon said. "People like covers."

Attendees are encouraged to bring a canned good to the concert. All donations will be given to the Norcross Cooperative Ministry. A part of ticket sales will be given to the Sugar Hill Elementary for their teacher's supply fund. Pennamon wants to help supplement the teachers who use the money out of their own pockets to put supplies in the classroom.

"Even in my job at Georgia Power Company, I do a lot of nonprofit things in the community," Pennamon said. "I truly feel it is all of our missions to give back. This is just one way of giving back."

The show starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $50 per person or $500 per table of 10. Dress is business casual. For tickets, call 770-378-3721.