Straight No Chaser (group)
|Straight No Chaser|
|Members||Michael Luginbill, Randy Stine, David Roberts, Charlie Mechling, Jerome Collins, Walter Chase, Donald Nottingham, Sargon Isho, Tyler Trepp, Steve Morgan|
|Past members||Dan Ponce, Ryan Ahlwardt, Mike Itkoff, Patrick Hachey, and Kevin Carroll|
Straight No Chaser (SNC) is a professional a cappella group which originated in 1996 at Indiana University. In 2006, a 1998 video of "The 12 Days of Christmas," gained widespread popularity and subsequently led to a five-album record deal with Atlantic Records in 2008. The YouTube video has been viewed over 18 million times.
The group formed in 1996 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Together, the 10 students—Dan Ponce, Randy Stine, Charlie Mechling, Steve Morgan, Jerome Collins, Dave Roberts, Walter Chase, Mike Itkoff, Patrick Hachey, and Kevin Carroll—became Straight No Chaser. Their name was inspired by the title track of Thelonious Monk's 1967 album, Straight, No Chaser, and is a conscious evocation of the popular American slang phrase often employed in requesting a drink.
SNC’s debut was at a 36-hour dance marathon. The original members performed at Chicago's Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park and Navy Pier, opened for Lou Rawls and even toured the country, playing such venues as Carnegie Hall. The original 10 remained together from 1996 until 1999 when new students were selected to replace the graduating members. Straight No Chaser continued to exist as a collegiate group.
When the original group reformed, both groups continued to exist under the name of Straight No Chaser. In April 2012, the collegiate group changed its name to Another Round, taken from the name of an earlier CD that was released by the group.
Original group reunites
In April 2006, a 1998 video recording of "The 12 Days of Christmas" was posted on YouTube. The song was an adaptation of a 1968 comic arrangement of the song by Richard C. Gregory, a faculty member of The Williston Northampton School, for his a cappella group, the Williston Caterwaulers. SNC added their own touches, including songs like “I Have a Little Dreidel” and Toto’s “Africa”. It has received over 16 million views. After viewing the video himself, Craig Kallman, CEO of Atlantic Records, called Randy Stine, who posted the video, and asked if the group would consider reuniting to record a new album.
In July 2008, eight original SNC members—Dan Ponce, Randy Stine, Charlie Mechling, Steve Morgan, Jerome Collins, Dave Roberts, Walter Chase, and Mike Itkoff—along with 2000-2003 SNC members Mike Luginbill and Ryan Ahlwardt—recorded a Christmas album, Holiday Spirits, in Bloomington, Indiana. After appearances on TNT's Christmas in Washington, Fox's Fox & Friends, and NBC's The Today Show on December 22, 2008, Holiday Spirits became the #1 selling album on both the iTunes and Amazon.com charts.
On August 18, 2009, SNC announced that Michael Itkoff and Steve Morgan had decided to step down from the group to spend more time with their families. SNC replaced them with Seggie Isho, originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan, and Tyler Trepp, originally from Urbandale, Iowa. Both Isho and Trepp were members of the collegiate SNC group at Indiana University: Isho 2003-2005, and Trepp 2003–2007. Don Nottingham replaced Dan Ponce in September 2010 when Dan decided to return to television journalism in Chicago. In December 2012, Ryan Ahlwardt left the group and Steve Morgan rejoined the group the following month.
SNC taped a live concert special in New York City during summer 2009 that was aired on that city's PBS stations during the December 2009 pledge drive as a Christmas special, and again in March 2010, excluding the Christmas songs but including six not-seen-before pop songs.
On August 31, 2009, Straight No Chaser released an EP of six songs, titled Six Pack, continuing the band's tradition of album titles that engage the symbolism of bartending themes. On November 3, 2009, they released their second Christmas album, Christmas Cheers co-produced with Deke Sharon, and they released their first non-Christmas album, With a Twist, in April 2010. The album includes a song featuring Barry Manilow.
In April 2010 the group performed a TV theme song medley on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
In the summers of 2011 and 2012 the group performed 40 and 50 shows at Harrah's Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ.
Their 2010 fall tour was a 75-city tour of the United States, Canada, and the UK and featured their box-set titled All I Want For Christmas, which featured their two holiday albums and a DVD of their PBS special, Live In New York.
In 2011, Straight No Chaser took a break from their extensive touring to return to Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City for a 52-show Summer Residency with a show, Back to the Shore: Songs Through the Decades and More.
In October 2011 Straight No Chaser released a follow up to the Six Pack EP with Six Pack Vol.II.
In May 2013 the group released its fourth album on Atlantic Records entitled Under the Influence. The deluxe version of the album is 17 tracks, eight of which feature guest artists Sara Bareilles, Phil Collins, Elton John, Jason Mraz, Dolly Parton, Seal, Rob Thomas, and Stevie Wonder, however most of these tracks involve the group singing over the original songs, not new vocals by the 'guests'.
In November 2013 the group released a Holiday EP, titled Under the Influence: Holiday Edition including a track with Paul McCartney.
|Title||Album details||Chart positions|
|With a Twist||
|Under the Influence||
|Six Pack (EP)||
|Six Pack Vol. 2 (EP)||
|Under the Influence: Holiday Edition||
- "YouTube: Straight No Chaser - 12 Days (original from 1998)". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-12-06.
- "snc". Php.indiana.edu. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- Mickey Rapkin (October 3, 2008). "The acappella Group Straight No Chaser - Reunited Singers, Recently Discovered and Replete With a Five-Album Contrac". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- "Student Groups". University of Indiana. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Who is Dick Gregory?". Pitch Perfect: The Quest For Collegiate A Cappella Glory. Virgin Atlantic Records. 3 October 2008.
- CASA: the Contemporary A Cappella Society. "2009 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award Winners". Retrieved 28 February 2010.
- CASA: the Contemporary A Cappella Society. "2009 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award Nominees". Retrieved 28 February 2010.
- "Straight No Chaser > Chart History > Billboard 200". Billboard Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
- A Cappella Dreaming: 10 Voices, One Shot