Straight No Chaser (group)

Straight No Chaser
Origin Indiana, United States
Genres A cappella
Years active 1996 (1996)–1999 (1999), 2008 (2008)–present
Labels Atlantic Records
Members Randy Stine
Michael Luginbill
David Roberts
Charlie Mechling
Jerome Collins
Walter Chase
Sargon Isho
Tyler Trepp
Steve Morgan
Past members Donald Nottingham
Dan Ponce
Ryan Ahlwardt
Mike Itkoff
Patrick Hachey

Straight No Chaser (SNC) is a professional a cappella group which originated in 1996 at Indiana University. In 2007, a 1998 video of "The 12 Days of Christmas", went viral with over 8 million views and subsequently led to a five-album record deal with Atlantic Records in 2008. The YouTube video has been viewed over 20 million times.[1]


The group formed in 1996 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Dan Ponce, Randy Stine, Charlie Mechling, Steve Morgan, Jerome Collins, Dave Roberts, Walter Chase, Mike Itkoff, and Patrick Hachey 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.[2] 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.[3] 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 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.[4]

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.[5] SNC added their own touches, including songs like "I Have a Little Dreidel" and Toto's "Africa".[3] It has received over 19 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 2000–03 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 Today on December 22, 2008, Holiday Spirits became the #1 selling album on both the iTunes and 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 2003–05, and Trepp 2003–07. 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. In May 2017, Don Nottingham left the group to spend more time with his family.

SNC taped a live concert special in New York City during the summer of 2009 that was aired nationally for several years on PBS stations during their pledge drives as a Christmas special, and again in the spring and summer, 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 bar-tending 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 summer of 2010 the group performed 40 shows at Harrah's Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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.[6]

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.

In November 2013 the group released a holiday EP, titled Under the Influence: Holiday Edition including "Wonderful Christmastime", a track with Paul McCartney.

In November 2014, the group released a new Christmas track entitled "Text Me Merry Christmas" featuring singer-actress Kristen Bell.

In May 2015, the group sang "Back Home Again in Indiana" for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500.[7]

In October 2015, the group released the album The New Old Fashioned. A year later, in October 2016, the group released I'll Have Another... Christmas Album.


In 2009, Atlantic Records SNC won the CARA award for Best Holiday Album (Holiday Spirits)[8] and was nominated for Best Holiday Song ("Carol Of The Bells" on Holiday Spirits).[9]



Title Album details Chart positions
Holiday Spirits 36
Christmas Cheers
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Atlantic
With a Twist
  • Released: 2010
  • Label: Atlantic
Under the Influence
  • Released: May 2013
  • Label: Atlantic
The New Old Fashioned
  • Released: October 2015
  • Label: Atlantic
I'll Have Another... Christmas Album
  • Released: October 2016
  • Label: Atlantic

Extended plays

Title Extended play details
Six Pack
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Atlantic
Six Pack: Volume 2
  • Released: 2011
  • Label: Atlantic
Under the Influence: Holiday Edition
  • Released: November 2013
  • Label: Atlantic
Six Pack: Volume 3[11]
  • Released: July 21, 2017
  • Label: Atlantic


  1. "YouTube: Straight No Chaser - 12 Days (original from 1998)". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-12-06.
  2. "snc". Retrieved 2008-11-11.
  3. 1 2 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.
  4. "Student Groups". University of Indiana. Archived from the original on 8 May 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  5. "Who is Dick Gregory?". Pitch Perfect: The Quest For Collegiate A Cappella Glory. Virgin Atlantic Records. 3 October 2008.
  7. Cavin, Curt (June 8, 2015). "Back Home Again". Autoweek. 65 (11): 49.
  8. CASA: the Contemporary A Cappella Society. "2009 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award Winners". Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  9. CASA: the Contemporary A Cappella Society. "2009 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award Nominees". Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  10. "Straight No Chaser > Chart History > Billboard 200". Billboard Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
  11. "Straight No Chaser Open Another SIX PACK at the Fabulous Fox Theatre this November". Broadway World. May 15, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.