A Cappella Group Straight No Chaser
Just so there is no confusion, this Hub Article is about the original a cappella group Straight No Chaser--an Atlantic Records recording group from Indiana University (SNC) which was first formed in 1996 and NOT the 10 to 12 member college group that is newly-formed yearly. In addition, their name, Straight No Chaser was indeed inspired by the Theloniius Monk composition of the same name. You can visit Straight No Chaser's official website by clicking here where you can learn more about them, listen to more of their amazing compilations, and also pre-order their newest album, With A Twist, which will be available April 13, 2010. Just a head's up.
Discovering Straight No Chaser
Although I seldom watch television nowadays, I came across Straight No Chaser while flipping through channels one day during the holiday season and by chance came across a PBS (Public Broadcast Station) special of them performing live to help raise money. In case you didn’t know, PBS is a Not-For-Profit television station whose budget is comprised of donations or pledges from its loyal viewers. One of the many benefits of PBS is that they are commercial-free. Most of their programs are educational. Some of their most popular programs that have aired on PBS in the past include Sesame Street and Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.
Not before had I heard of them and to be honest, I normally am not into a Capella singing groups, but these guys are just fun to watch and their propensity to put an interesting twist on some already popular songs is bar none. For those of you who are fans of the television show Glee, you’ll be familiar with some of the mash-ups that Straight No Chaser brings to the forefront of some of their performances. Among some of my personal favorites by them include “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” Jason Mraz’ cover of “I’m Yours,” a cover of Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye”, and of course their rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” which consequently put them on the map.
As fate would have it, in April of 2006, an original video of Straight No Chaser's 1998 performance of The 12 Days of Christmas was posted on YouTube. By then, the original members of the 1998 tandem were scattered all over the globe, working as bankers, teachers, and even theme-park characters! To put it mildly, the video was a huge success, as it would go on to receive over 10 million views (11 million plus at last count). And it just so happened that one of those 10 million plus viewers was none other than the CEO of Atlantic Records Craig Kallman who would eventually spearhead the 5-album recording deal with Straight No Chaser.
In time, I think that these guys will become a household name with their rise to stardom. So without further ado, here are some sample performances of Straight No Chaser which will sure to entertain you. Please enjoy!
The 12 Days of Christmas
I think it only fitting that the first video I showcase here of Straight No Chaser is "The 12 Days of Christmas" as it's the first impression of them by many. After viewing it, I wondered how long it took for them to assemble such a song and how many hours and days it took to get their timing just right. I'm sure that it wasn't easy and took a great deal of time and patience.
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
When I watched these guys perform this song, I instantly became a fan. Steve's voice is just incredible as he can hit notes I can only dream of (and would only attempt in the privacy of my own shower). I also liked the little Lion King plug as well. If listening to this song doesn't send chills down your spine, you better check your meds! This is by far the best version of this song I've ever heard. Please listen.
Don't Stop Believin'
Okay, okay...So the video is grainy, the sound is sporadic, and the lead singer (Mike) forgets one of his lines...So what? If you were one of the members of the audience while watching this performance live, I'm sure that you'd be entertained by the talent displayed before you. Mike's voice is simply incredible. Listen for the Steve Perry interlude at the end.
In my opinion, I think this version of,"I'm Yours" is better than the Jason Mraz's version as I think it was meant to be sung in a cappella, but hey, that's just my own opinion. For some reason, this song just never fails to put me in a good mood. I hope you enjoy listening to this video and have ultimately enjoyed reading this hub article while learning about Straight No Chaser.
Thank you for visiting!