"He was in every band I had," Flanagan said. "And we played with all kinds of people. We played with The Temptations, The Spinners, The Four Tops, Kenny Rogers, Ray Charles. And we did I don't know how many touring Broadway shows, shows at The Greenbrier."
They were friends the entire time.
"We used to call each other every day," Flanagan said. "For about 26 years, we spoke every day about something."
They had a lot of laughs, which Flanagan acknowledged often gravitated toward the juvenile or sophomoric.
Years ago, the two of them were playing in the orchestra for a production of "Annie" in Huntington. Before a show, Flanagan said they stopped off to get a bite to eat at Kenny Gs (the restaurant, not the musician's home).
Groscup looked at the menu, then said, "Hey, let's see if we can eat a hundred wings."
The two of them ended up ordering 100 chicken wings, four baskets of fries and two pitchers of beer.
After their meal, they took the bones to the show.
"But we got there two hours early and wiped the bones on the edge of the stage."
During the musical, when Little Orphan Annie is trying to save the stray mutt that will become Sandy, the young actress had to call the dog to her -- something that had been rehearsed dozens of times.
"And the dog was trained," Flanagan added.
Only this time, the dog couldn't resist the smell of chicken grease. Instead of coming as called, it bolted for the front of the stage and began licking the floor.
"The whole place just died laughing," he said.
The show Saturday is to benefit Groscup's wife and two stepdaughters. Flanagan said the response from the local music community has been very gratifying. Most of the musicians performing at the show played with Groscup at one time or another. He was well remembered by many of them.
"Jimmy was just a gentle giant, a really great guy and a fine trombone player," Flanagan said. "He was my friend."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.