More than one Rifftides reader has taken me to task for posting nothing about the death of Bob Flanigan, the original lead singer of the vocal-instrumental group The Four Freshmen. Flanigan died on May 15 at his home in Las Vegas. He was 84.
As if to validate the group, many of his obituaries dwelled on Flanigan’s and the Freshmens’ influence on the Beach Boys and other pop performers of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The Freshmen validated themselves through excellence as singers and instrumentalists. In this video from a 1964 Japan tour, Flanigan has the trombone solo on one of the Freshmen’s biggest hits.
Flanigan was the last original member of the Four Freshmen to retire, in 1992. But his association with it did not stop. He owned the rights to the Four Freshmen name and managed the group when it continued with new members, as it does today.