In the pantheon of a cappella, The Flips are considered amongst the vanguard of groups that emerged during a cappella’s “new wave” in the mid-1980’s, paving the way for a cappella’s current popularity. Founded by Kevin Carter, Patti Lesser, Kirk Livingston and Shanna Strassberg in 1984, while studying musical theater at San Francisco State University, the group honed their vocal talents singing at keg parties, in stairwells, back alleys… pretty much anywhere anyone would listen. Their unique alchemy of demented humor and gorgeous harmonies quickly turned them into the darlings of the San Francisco/Bay Area and Los Angeles comedy and cabaret scenes.
Billed as “Off-the-Wall A Cappella,” The Flips refused to be categorized. Their theatrical stage shows incorporated skits, monologues, satire and sight gags, sets, props, lighting and sound effects, all woven around their signature four-part harmonies in wide range of musical tastes - from do-wop to new wave, jazz to country, gospel to pop, and even rap.
In 1986, The Flips won the coveted Harmony Sweepstakes and then went on to win back-to-back San Francisco Cabaret Gold Awards for Best Musical Group in 1986 & 1987. Featured on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle's entertainment (Pink) section, and named “Comedy Pick of the Week” by the LA Weekly, the band’s popularity sky-rocketed. As frequent guests on the TV and radio talk show circuits in both Northern and Southern California, some highlights include performing live on NPR’s West Coast Weekend, and as regular guests on Live 105 with Alex Bennett and Lori Thomson..
Although The Flips officially disbanded in 1989, its members continue to sing together in various configurations for special projects… or when begged... or when free cocktails are involved… or, well, pretty much any time they're all together in the same room..
Their album, What's In The Bright Pink Box, was recently reissued and can now be purchased on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and many other online music websites.
Members: Kirk Livingston, Patti Lesser, Shanna Strassberg, Kevin CarterMixed Contemporary
Quartet from San Francisco,
1986 National Champions
1986 Bay Area Champions