Tenor: Johnny Whalen
Lead: Britt Stegal
Bass: Sam Barnes
Bari: Red Elliott
The Flat Foot Four was organized in the Oklahoma City Police Department by the Mayor, O. A. Cargill, in 1923. The quartet’s personnel changed many times over the years, but Johnny Whalen was always the tenor.
The original foursome was Whalen, lead Frank Sheppard, Roland Cargill, the mayor’s brother, on baritone, and bass Bill Parrish. The quartet made their first public appearance at a meeting of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
Losing and replacing an average of one man per year, the quartet was still functioning in 1939 when Whalen, with Britt Stegal, lead, baritone Granville Scanland, and bass Sam Barnes competed against some 20 quartets at the first SPEBSQSA national contest in Tulsa and came in third.
In the summer of 1940 at the New York World’s Fair, with Red Elliott in the baritone spot, the Flat Foot Four copped the championship from a field of 200 entrants.