Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bob Flanigan (1926–2011)

From the New York Times:

Bob Flanigan, a founding member of the Four Freshmen, the well-scrubbed tight-harmony group begun more than 60 years ago, when all of its members really were undergraduates, died on Sunday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 84.
Bob Flanigan in a 2009 interview: “I sang all the high parts, and I must say, I did it very carefully.” Why? Because everything was too high: “I had to really push it to get it to come out in tune.” The Four Freshmen sound was a profound influence on Brian Wilson and, thus, on the Beach Boys, who covered “Graduation Day” and “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring.”

YouTube has a small sampling of the Four Freshmen. The big treat: a 1964 performance for Japanese television in seven parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. In the first clip, from left to right: Ross Barbour, Bob Flanigan, Ken Albers, Bill Comstock.

Also at YouTube: compare and contrast the Four Freshmen and the Beach Boys.

comments: 1

Adair said...

I like the Four Freshmen's recordings with June Christy and the Stan Kenton band.