It wasn't always that way. In the pre-Campbell years, the team tried to pump up the crowd with old-fashioned organ-driven chants.
That all changed in the early 1990s when the Wings did away with the organ and brought in a DJ. The original DJ didn't work out, so in came Campbell. He had been the music-spinner for Michigan State games at Munn Ice Arena.
"They know I have a feel for the game because I've been playing hockey since I was 5 years old," said Campbell, who is 49 and whose three older brothers all played for the Spartans. He himself won two state championships as a prep player.
He continues to DJ at Spartan games and makes the 80-mile drive from his home in Okemos for every Wings home game - his license plate reads "HCKYTWN."
Campbell arrives 2 to 2 1/2 hours before each game. He wears a suit and stands for the entirety in his perch high above the ice. His booth is behind press row, and he shares it with the replay official.
Campbell wears a headset to communicate with the onsite event producers and is surrounded by black and silver machines that help pump his music to the masses. The tracks are listed alphabetically, so all he has to do is turn a dial, click and button and whoosh - the song heads into 20,000 sets of ears.
At Wednesday night's Western Conference championship clincher over Chicago, Campbell kicked off the pregame festivities by spinning Kid Rock's "Intro" chant, which goes: "It ain't no party like a Detroit party/'cause a Detroit party don't stop."
When the Wings made their way through the tunnel and stepped on to the ice, Campbell quickly queued up the thrash-metal rocker "Adrenaline" by 12 Stones.
But his musical selections aren't all rock tracks. He'll play anything from techno, dance or trance tunes to rap and classic rock. On Wednesday, he even played the soft Kiss ballad "Beth" in honor of a young lady who earned a Zamboni ride between the first and second periods.
May 31, 2009
May 28, 2009
Sarah Talalay has a good article on The Business of Sports about a giant outdoor LED marquee that the Miami Heat have installed outside of American Airlines Arena. Here's an excerpt:
The Heat unveiled its MiamiMediaMesh LED marquee Wednesday night with great fanfare. The 3,400-square foot stainless steel mesh screen covers a dozen window panels on AmericanAirlines Arena’s west façade – so it’s hard to miss.
I described it in today’s story as being like a curtain, but it’s really more like a screen since it’s attached to the arena. (See photos by the Heat's Omar Vega). But at just ¾ inch thick and 70 percent transparent, it doesn’t block your view from inside the arena, and you almost don’t know it’s there, if it’s not turned on.
When it is on – arena officials plan a 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. schedule – it’s the size of 320 50-inch plasma TVs blasting game and concert footage, sponsor advertising messages and even the public’s Twitter and email messages. Send Tweets to @MiamiMediaMesh or emails to MiamiMediaMesh@heat.com for possible display.
May 26, 2009
The final four national anthem singers in the 2009 playoffs -- 2 guys, 2 gals, 4 different styles, all great singers.
- Pittsburgh Penguins - Jeff Jimmerson
First performance for the Pens was in December 1990. Has been a regular with the Pens since the mid 1990s. Performs in local band Airborne. Appeared in the film "Sudden Death", playing himself.
Article: Anthem singer fires up Mellon crowd (TribLIVE)
Other: Jeff Jimmerson Fan Club via Facebook
- Carolina Hurricanes - Katherine Fritsch
10 years old, in her second season with the Hurricanes. First sang with the 'Canes back in 2006-07. Took over from Holly Wilver, a former Hurricanes Storm Squad member. Discovered by 'Canes staff at the Jimmy V Junior Golf Classic. Wants to be a vet when she grows up.
Articles: NC Spin Online, Canes Country
- Detroit Red Wings - Karen Newman
Has been singing with the Red Wings for over 15 years. Before that she was a multiple winner on Ed McMahon's Star Search, sang backup with Kid Rock and Bob Seger. Has released a few cd's, including a holiday album. Was once a hairstylist and has a twin sister, Kathy.
Articles: Wikipedia, Kukla's Korner
Other: Karen on Facebook, Karen on Myspace
- Chicago Blackhawks - Jim Cornelison (singer) & Frank Pellico (organist)
From NHL.com: "Chicago's anthem tradition began during the 1985 conference finals against Edmonton. After dropping the first two games of the series on the road, Hawks fans entered Chicago Stadium on May 9 fully energized and ready to help their team get back into the series. The crowd was so excited they cheered all the way through the National Anthem — and the tradition stuck."
Jim Cornelison is a former professional opera singer, coaches basketball in his spare time, and is currently a real estate agent in Chicago with Rubloff Residential Properties. He's been a professional singer since 1993. Sung off-and-on with the Blackhawks since 1995. Has been the full-time singer for the Hawks since the start of the 2008-09 season.
Pellico is 66 years old and has been playing the organ for the Blackhawks since 1991. He's also played for the Chicago Cubs. He plays a custom-designed Allen organ, installed in the United Centre to replicate the original Barton organ at Chicago Stadium. Cool link: Pellico & roller rinks.
Articles: Jim Cornelison, Frank Pellico
Video: Anthem, A night in the life of Jim, Frank Pellico, Blackhawks organist
Also: Jim's YouTube channel (includes full bio + videos)