Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison carries on an Indy 500 tradition
INDIANAPOLIS – His booming voice is no stranger to Chicago sports fans, but it was something new for those in Central Indiana.
Stepping up the microphone at the top of the front stretch of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Jim Cornelison belted out words to a song known by a healthy amount of the 300,000 fans to which he was serenading.
“Back Home Again in Indiana” is a tradition for the Indianapolis 500 race and the Blackhawks’ National Anthem singer had the honor of performing it before 101st running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on Sunday.
The 1:14 performance along with the Purdue All-American Marching Band was the second-to-last ceremony before the start of the race. Cornelison, who got a masters in music from Indiana University in Bloomington, belted out the song in his trademark voice just as he has during Blackhawks games with the anthem the last decade.
Actor Jim Nabors had the honor of singing the song for most of the race days from 1972 through 2014 when health forced him to give up the duties. The acapella group “Straight No Chaser” sang “Back Home Again in Indiana” in 2015 with Josh Kaufman having the honor with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir in 2016.
Later Sunday night, Cornelison took to Twitter to thank the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the opportunity.