Earl Bostic was a multi-instrumentalist who often doubled on trumpet and guitar during his performances as well as the sax, which was his main instrument. He had been playing from an early age and played with some of the greats such as Jack Teagarden, Cab Calloway, Thelonious Monk, Lionel Hampton and Benny Golson. He was a gifted exponent of the R&B style known as Carolina Beach Music, and John Coltrane cited him as one of his influences in a 1960 interview with Down Beat magazine, saying "(Bostic) showed me a lot of things on my horn. He has fabulous technical facilities on his instrument and knows many a trick." He was also praised by Art Blakey, who said "Nobody knew more about the saxophone than Bostic, I mean technically, and that includes Bird. Working with Bostic was like attending a university of the saxophone.When Coltrane played with Bostic, I know he learned a lot."
In 1951 Flamingo was recorded and has remained a favorite with followers of jazz to this day. His famous 'rasping' sax sound, which he had developed in the late '40s as a successful attempt to reach a wider audience, is much in evidence here, and this accounts for the record's huge success and lingering popularity.