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Posts Tagged ‘Manhattan Transfer’

RIP, Bob Flanigan (May 15, 2011) Lead Singer of The Four Freshmen

Posted by on May 15, 2011

Bob Flanigan
August 22, 1926 – May 15, 2011

Bob Flanigan was the founder and lead singer of influential jazz vocal group, the Four Freshmen.  Formed in 1948 while they were still students at Butler University, the group went on to release numerous hit records and perform in front of sold-out audiences the world over.  They would be cited as direct influences on the likes of the Manhattan Transfer, the Lettermen, and most notably, Brian Wilson who often gave credit to the group’s vocal harmonies for guiding his vision of the Beach Boys sound.  It was Flanigan’s distinctive high pitch that could be heard above the others on most of the group’s recordings.  He was also an accomplished trombonist and bass guitarist, in fact all the original members played instruments,  which separated them from other vocal groups of the era.  Upon retiring in 1992, Flanigan retained the rights to the group’s name and was involved in selecting new members.  Bob Flanigan was 84 when he died of congestive heart failure on May 15, 2011.

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Died On This Date (March 25, 2008) Gene Puerling / The Hi-Lo’s

Posted by on March 25, 2010

Gene Puerling
March 31, 1929 – March 25, 2008


Gene Puerling, the one-time leader and celebrated vocal arranger of the Hi-Lo’s passed away March 25, 2010 of complications from diabetes. He was 78. His group’s complex vocal arrangement were said to influence Brian Wilson, the Mamas and the Papas, the Gatlin Brothers, Take 6 and the Manhattan Transfer who earned Puerling a Grammy for his 1981 arrangement of “A Nightingale Sang In Washington Square.”

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Died On This Date (November 27, 1998) Barbara Acklin

Posted by on November 27, 2009

Barbara Acklin
February 28, 1944 – November 27, 1998

barbaraacklinBarbara Acklin was a popular soul singer and successful songwriter during the ’60s and ’70s.  After singing in church and then Chicago area nightclubs while still a teenager, Acklin was hired by Chess Records to sing backup for the likes of Etta James and Fontella Bass.    In 1966, Acklin was hired as a receptionist for Brunswick Records where she had to chance to hand a song she had co-written to Jackie Wilson.  That song was “Whispers (Gettin’ Louder)” which Wilson made into a top 5 R&B and #11 pop hit.  That was enough to land Acklin a recording contract with Brunswick.  Acklin released several charting singles over the next decade, including “Show Me the Way” (a duet with Gene Chandler), “Love Makes a Woman,” and “Am I the Same Girl,” which was later covered by Dusty Springfield, the Manhattan Transfer, and Swing Out Sister.   Acklin’s biggest hit as a songwriter came with the release of “Have You Seen Her,” a song she co-wrote with Eugene Record and turned into a chart topping hit by his group, the Chi-Lites.  Barbara Acklin was 54 when she died of pneumonia.

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