Jim Nabors announced earlier this year that the 35-year tradition of him singing ‘”Back Home Again in Indiana” before the start of the Indy 500 was coming to an end.
Now the announcement has been made that a cappella Straight No Chaser will be performing the tune in Nabors’ stead.
The group has ten members, all of whom are alumni at Indiana University in Bloomington. They were founded in 1996 at the college. Jim Nabors himself is 84, and has been singing at the start of the race since 1972.
After Nabors announce he was stepping down, there were lots of names floated to replace him.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said that ”having a group with a national following, strong Indiana roots and a true understanding of the importance of this moment” was key in making a decision about who would take up Nabors’ mantle.
In the end, it took ten men to do the job.
“The song is the tradition,” Boles said. “But over time, Jim Nabors became that tradition. Our fans have offered us many suggestions for who and how the song should be performed in 2015.”
“It’s probably the greatest honor you can bestow on a bunch of guys from Indiana that just started doing this for fun,” said David Roberts, an original SNC member.
“We had no idea when we started this that it would ever become, not just a viable career for us, but something that the State of Indiana really respected and brought in as part of its culture and tradition,” said Roberts. “We are just ecstatic.”
Straight No Chaser is a crowd pleaser, folding comedy and a fun show in with their flawless harmonies. Here is an example of SNC’s work.