When composer-arranger Bill Finegan passed away last week at the age of 91, a New York Times writer (on the recommendation of a mutual friend and Flora admirer) contacted me for some background on the music legend. I confessed that, in all honesty, I knew less about what Finegan did for Glenn Miller, Nelson Riddle, and Tommy Dorsey than I do about what Jim Flora did for Bill Finegan.
Flora gave Finegan two right arms, dressed him in weird toreador togs, and made him swallow a saxophone:
The above RCA Victor sleeve appeared in 1954. Flora admitted that as a caricaturist he "could not do likenesses" — a failing that worked to his artistic advantage. He dealt another mutant makeover the following year on The Sons of Sauter-Finegan (RCA 1104, detail):
This time the arms issue has been resolved (and the duo's intestinal contents are concealed). Flora illustrated two other S-F LPs: Concert Jazz (RCA 1051) and Inside Sauter-Finegan Revisited (RCA 2473).
The Inside S-F cover illustration is available on a T-shirt. The Sons of S-F illustration was adapted for the cover of The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora. Death does not stop the merch march.