Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Flanders & Swann

An LP from 1958 on the Parlophone label.  Intelligent and charming comedy songs from a bygone era.
Wikipedia says  -  "Flanders and Swann both attended Westminster School, where in July and August 1940 they staged a revue called Go To It, and Christ Church, Oxford, two institutions linked by ancient tradition. The pair went their separate ways during World War II, but a chance meeting in 1948 led to a musical partnership writing songs and light opera, Flanders providing the words and Swann composing the music. Their songs have been sung by performers such as Ian Wallace and Joyce Grenfell.In December 1956, Flanders and Swann hired the New Lindsey Theatre, Notting Hill, to perform their own two-man revue At the Drop of a Hat, which opened on New Year's Eve. Flanders sang a selection of the songs that they had written, interspersed with comic monologues, and accompanied by Swann on the piano. An unusual feature of their act was that, due to Flanders' having contracted poliomyelitis in 1943, both men remained seated for their shows: Swann behind his piano, and Flanders in a wheelchair. The show was successful and transferred the next month to the Fortune Theatre, where it ran for over two years, before touring in the UK, the United States, Canada and Switzerland.In 1963 Flanders and Swann opened in a second revue, At the Drop of Another Hat at the Haymarket Theatre. Over the next four years they toured a combination of the two shows in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the United States and Canada, before finishing up at the Booth Theatre on Broadway. On 9 April 1967, they performed their last live show together. Ten days later, they moved into a studio and recorded the show for television.Over the course of eleven years, Flanders and Swann gave nearly 2,000 live performances. Although their performing partnership ended in 1967, they remained friends afterwards and collaborated on occasional projects."

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