Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison will continue Indy 500 tradition Sunday
INDIANAPOLIS — When the Blackhawks returned to prominence in the National Hockey League, so one of their pregame traditions.
The cheering National Anthem – a staple of games at Chicago Stadium – wasn’t quite as inspiring in the late 1990s and most of the 2000s as the team on the ice struggled to compete. Jim Cornelison helped to revive that, as he sang in front of more enthusiastic crowds in the later part of the decade, reviving the tradition that was once a highlight of Blackhawks’ games.
Because of that, Cornelison has gotten the chance to perform at a number of different events. Bears fans remember his performances before the NFC Divisional and Championship games during the team’s last playoff run in January of 2011 at Soldier Field.
There is one event, however, that might hit a little closer to Cornelison’s heart. That’s the Indianapolis 500, which takes place around an hour north of his graduate school Alma Mater of Indiana University.
The song is “Back Home Again in Indiana.” It’s one of the traditional songs which is performed before the start of the race and Cornelison will have the duty of singing it for a second-straight year.
He’s one of three to sing it since the late Jim Nabors nearly four-decade run ended in 2014. A Capella group “Straight No Chaser” had the honor in 2015 with Josh Kaufman performing the song with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir in 2016.
Like 2017 and many years before, Cornelison will perform the song with the Purdue University All-American Marching Band, singing once again in front of an enthusiastic crows in an event full of tradition.