Ralph Flanagan

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Ralph Flanagan
Ralph Flanagan 1956.JPG
Flanagan in 1956
Background information
Birth nameRalph Elias Flenniken
Born(1914-04-07)April 7, 1914
Lorain, Ohio, U.S.
DiedDecember 30, 1995(1995-12-30) (aged 81)
Miami, Florida
GenresJazz, big band
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader, composer, arranger

Ralph Elias Flenniken (April 7, 1914 – December 30, 1995), known professionally as Ralph Flanagan, was a big band leader, pianist, composer, and arranger for the orchestras of Hal McIntyre, Sammy Kaye, Blue Barron, Charlie Barnet, and Alvino Rey.


He was educated at Lorain High School, where he was a member of the National Honors Society, the student senate, the school newspaper staff (Hi-Y) and the chorus.

During World War II he served in the Merchant Marine from October 1942 to 1946. By 1949 he formed a very successful orchestra which is credited with re-popularizing the Glenn Miller "sound," and which made many records, among them "Singing Winds", "Rag Mop" and "Hot Toddy." The Ralph Flanagan band was managed by Herb Hendler, an RCA A&R man who had signed Glenn Miller to his final record contract before Miller's fatal plane crash in the English Channel during World War II. It was Hendler who had encouraged Flanagan to adopt the Miller sound that led to his success. Hendler also co-wrote "Hot Toddy," which was recorded by many artists, including Chet Atkins, Rosemary Clooney, Red Foley and Julie London.

Flanagan's recording of "Slow Poke", a #6 hit in early 1952, was the very first song played on the initial edition of the Today Show on January 14, 1952.

The Flanagan orchestra's theme songs were "Giannina Mia" and "Singing Winds", the latter title also applying to the orchestra's singing group.

He joined the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers in 1950, and his popular-song compositions include "Hot Toddy" and "Flanagan's Boogie."

During the peak of his career, he also lived in the suburban village of Malverne, New York.


As of August 19, 2010, Ralph Flanagan and his Orchestra were listed by EMI Music as a missing royaltor, which means that EMI have lost contact with the estate of Flanagan and his heirs and band members, and that royalty checks are being returned to the record company by the Post Office.



  • Ralph Flanagan
  • Hot Toddy
  • Let's Dance with Ralph Flanagan
  • Let's Dance with Ralph Flanagan, Volume 2
  • Big Band Sounds of Ralph Flanagan
  • A Tribute to Glenn Miller
  • At the Hollywood Palladium
  • Always
  • Dancing in the Dark
  • 1001 One Nighters


  • The Blues/Love Is Here To Stay RCA Victor 47-4247 (From M-G-M's "An American In Paris") 1951
  • Slow Poke/Charmaine RCA Victor 47-4373 1951
  • Some Enchanted Evening/People Will Say We're in Love RCA 47-3174 (From Boxed Set WP268) 1949
  • It Might As Well Be Spring/Surrey With The Fringe On Top RCA 47-3175 (From Boxed Set WP268 1949
  • Oh What A Beautiful Mornin'/If I Loved You RCA 47-3176 (From Boxed Set WP268) 1949
  • Stars And Stripes Forever/Giannina Mia RCA 47-3762 1950
  • Dancing Tambourine/La Vie En Rose RCA 47-3889 1950
  • Nevertheless/The Red We Got is The Red We Want RCA 47-3904 1950
  • Baby Doll/A Rose and a Baby Ruth RCA 47-6719 1956
  • Blacksmith Blues/Delicado RCA 47-4706 1952
  • Dear Hearts and Gentle People/My Hero RCA 54-001 1949
  • Lullaby Of Birdland/Did I Remember RCA 47-5741 1954
  • Everytime I fall In Love/? RCA 47-4067 1951
  • Hot Toddy/Where Or When RCA 61-7362 1953
  • I Belong To You/Go Moses Go RCA 47-6023 1955
  • Where Or When/When We're Alone (Penthouse Serenade) RCA 47-4013 (From Boxed Set WP308) 1951
  • Giannina Mia/Joshua RCA 47-4014 (From Boxed Set WP308) 1951
  • Hot Toddy/Serenade RCA 47-5095 1952
  • I remember the Cornfields/Beautiful RCA 47-4008 1951
  • I understand/? RCA 47-4724 1952
  • Radar Love/Crackerjack RCA 47-6525 1956
  • Reverie In The Rain/? RCA 47-5591 1954
  • Stop and Kiss Dance/? RCA 47-5361 1953
  • Sweetheart of Sigma Chi/? RCA 47-6141 1955
  • There's Nothing Like Love/? RCA 47-6224 1955
  • Way Back Home/? RCA 54-0012


  • Coral 65543 Let's Get Away From It All/Oh Look At Me Now/There I've Said It Again/Too Young
  • RCA EPA537 A-Flat Swing/Gypsy Violin/Smoke Gets In Your Eyes/Why
  • RCA EPA514 One Alone/?/?/?


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