The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has tabbed big-name a cappella singing group Straight No Chaser to carry on one of the Indianapolis 500’s greatest traditions.
The pre-race singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana” is a cherished moment for the ‘500’ faithful, and for 35 times since 1972, that honor went to entertainer Jim Nabors. But citing health reasons, the 84-year-old Nabors gave his final “500” performance this past May.
Today, the Speedway announced that SNC, which was founded in 1996 at Indiana University, will sing the song next May.
“One of the most cherished traditions each year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the singing of ‘(Back Home Again in) Indiana’ and we are pleased that Straight No Chaser will join us next May to perform as we lead up to the start of the 99th Indianapolis 500,” IMS president J. Douglas Boles said in a statement.
“Our fans have offered us many suggestions for who and how the song should be performed in 2015 and having a group with a national following, strong Indiana roots and a true understanding of the importance of this moment make them a great fit for next year’s race!”
Thanks in large part to YouTube postings of their performances (which have gathered more than 60 million views on the social media service), SNC’s profile has grown tremendously in recent years.
One of the group’s most recent offerings, a collaboration with actress Kristen Bell called “Text Me Merry Christmas,” has already garnered five million YouTube views and was performed earlier this month on NBC’s Today show. The group is also taking part in an ongoing 58-city, 66-show tour.
As all 10 members of the current professional group are IU alums, you would figure they’re certainly experienced with “Back Home Again in Indiana.” And you’d be right. Here’s a clip of their 1998 performance of that song:
Something tells us they’ll be received warmly at the Brickyard.