May 26, 2009

NHL National Anthems: The Final Four

This post is for my 3-year-old daughter, who stays up late each night so that she can watch the anthems. Her favourite is Jeff Jimmerson, with Katherine Fritsch a close second.

The final four national anthem singers in the 2009 playoffs -- 2 guys, 2 gals, 4 different styles, all great singers.

  1. 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.
    Video: Youtube
    Article: Anthem singer fires up Mellon crowd (TribLIVE)
    Other: Jeff Jimmerson Fan Club via Facebook

  2. 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.

    Video: Youtube
    Articles: NC Spin Online, Canes Country

  3. 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.

    Video: MySpace
    Articles: Wikipedia, Kukla's Korner
    Other: Karen on Facebook, Karen on Myspace

  4. Chicago Blackhawks - Jim Cornelison (singer) & Frank Pellico (organist)
    From "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)

1 comment:

Rebeca said...

Jeff Jimmerson (who frequently sings the national anthem at the Penguin’s games) with Kim Alexander has one hot band – Airborne. It was one hopping evening of dancing and fun.