Bob Flanigan (GAB Archive/Redferns)
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Bob Flanigan, an original member of the four-part jazz vocal harmony group The Four Freshmen, has died in Las Vegas at age 84, a manager of the group said Monday.
Flanigan died Sunday at home of congestive heart failure, with family members nearby and several local trombonists playing songs, IVI Management agent Dina Roth said.
"Flanigan's voice was indestructible," said Ross Barbour, the last remaining original member of the four-man group. "He could drive all day and all night without stopping between gigs, and when our voices were on the edge Bob was still in full form."
Barbour, 82, now lives in Simi Valley, Calif.
Flanigan and his cousins Ross Barbour and Don Barbour formed the group in 1948 with Hal Kratzsch while attending Butler University in Indiana. Flanigan played trombone and bass and sang lead parts.
Don Barbour died in a car crash in 1961. Kratzsch died in 1970.
The group produced more than 50 albums and 70 singles, and had six Grammy nominations over the years, Roth said.
Best-known recordings were "It's a Blue World" in 1952, "Mood Indigo" in 1954, "Day by Day" in 1955 and "Graduation Day" in 1956. The group was credited with being an early influence on Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson.
Flanigan retired in 1992, but Roth said he kept a hand in the changing cast of performers and management of The Four Freshmen name. The group's current cast - Brian Eichenberger, Curtis Calderon, Vince Johnson and Bob Ferreira - are due to perform Wednesday in Boston.
Flanigan is survived by his wife, Mary Flanigan, six children and 15 grandchildren. Memorial service plans were pending.
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