Since Michael Flanders died in 1975, and Donald Swann passed away in 1994, there have been few opportunities to hear their whimsical tunes, unless you still own the two records released by the dapper pair back in the 1960s. That will change in August, the Associated Press reports (Aug. 12), when U.S. public television stations air a special devoted to the musical twosome. Part one of the 40-minute show will use footage from At The Drop of Hat, which was taped for broadcast by the BBC. Part two of the special will offer special color footage of the sequel, At The Drop of Another Hat, shot at the show's last Broadway performance in 1967.
The duo's first pairing, At The Drop of a Hat, opened Oct. 8, 1959 at the John Golden Theatre on Broadway and ran for 216 performances. At The Drop of Another Hat opened Dec. 27, 1966 and played through Apr. 8 at the Booth Theatre.
AP also notes that F & S fans were recenty blessed with a three-CD compilation of 50 songs, released in the UK. Among the best-known Flanders & Swann compositions are "I'm A Gnu," "Twenty Tons of TNT," and "The Hippopotamus Song," which features the famous refrain, "Mud, mud, glorious mud..."
Check local listings for scheduling of the special, which will come during pledge times for various PBS station.
-- By David Lefkowitz