Now that the National League Division Championship has begun (with a thrilling, and another bizarre, win by the beloved Cubs on a pinch-hit grand slam home run -- but it's only one game...) -- I thought this would be a good time to post this.
You may recall that a few months ago, I posted a piece here on Wayne Messmer -- the wildly-popular fellow in Chicago who sings the National Anthem before the Chicago Cubs games, as well as many other sporting events around town, and who recovered from being shot in the throat when he was singing the Anthem before the Chicago Blackhawks games.
[NOTE: If you didn't see -- and hear -- the earlier article, do check it out, if only to hear the various recordings. But there's also embedded an excellent, fairly-short documentary about what is truly a dramatic, moving part of his story.]
In that earlier article, I included videos of some of his renditions, but noted that I hadn't been able to find a video -- or any recording -- of what might be my most favorite version that he sings: Indeed, one of my favorite versions of the National Anthem that anyone sings. it's a duet that he periodically performs a few times during the season with his wife, Kathleen. He takes the background in those versions, singing harmony, with his wife singing lead, and what makes their duets SO wonderful is the arrangement they came up with, not only filled with rich harmonies, but subtle, and meaningful vocal runs to connect passages.
Alas, I still haven't found a video, or even a great audio recording -- but -- I do now have a much better recording than what I had posted. I was listening to a Cubs game over the Internet a few weeks back, and they announced that Wayne and Kathleen Messmer would be singing the Anthem...so, I quickly got out my mobile phone, put it up to the speaker, and recorded it.
The sound still doesn't have the proper fidelity to make things as crisp as they should be, and the separation doesn't allow one to hear both parts clear enough, but it's pretty respectable, and you can hear it all pretty well, especially to give a far better idea of what I've been referring to.
I'll keep looking. But for now, this suffices reasonably well.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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