For those who love vocal music, the pleasure doesn’t get much purer than listening to a cappella performances.
While this kind of music was seen as old-fashioned for a while, there have recently been tons of groups performing this kind of music with huge success.
One of the most famous may be Pentatonix, who have done all kinds of covers of Christmas songs and other pop hits. Still, one of the original American groups started at Indiana University with a group of college students.
That group was known as Straight No Chaser.
The group was formed all the way back in 1996.
The original line-up consisted of Dan Porce, Randy Stine, Charlie Mechling, Steve Morgan, Jerome Collins, Dave Roberts, Walter Chase, Mike Itkoff, and Patrick Hachey.
Because it was a college group, it typically worked by having the line-up rotate, switching out new graduates for old every year. Still, one of the group’s earliest performances from 1998 just went viral again on YouTube.
Still, the singing didn’t take place in a concert hall—it was in a Hardee’s restaurant.
As the video begins, the singers explain that because the cashiers were so kind and helpful in giving them their food, they wanted to give back with a performance.
They even added that, if their performance was good enough, maybe they could even throw in some milkshakes when it was all over. With that, they all start snapping to establish a rhythm.
Before long, they’re all vocalizing together and they start singing “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King. From the very beginning, their voices are so soulful and beautiful—and it’s clear they’re all having a ton of fun together.
Once they get to the chorus, the whole group starts harmonizing and the song takes flight.
Halfway through, the vocalists high five, and someone else takes over.
Although the singing isn’t over yet, the cashiers are already applauding the group for what they’re seeing!
Perhaps the funniest thing in the video is that in the middle of the performance, there’s one man in the restaurant in the background with the biggest smile on his face—and it turns out he’s a member of the group who isn’t participating! As the performance continues, the boys’ voices get higher and higher and the cashiers are even clapping along with them.
When it’s finally over, everybody gives them a huge round of applause.
Finally, the workers give them all a handshake and get on their way.
At the very end, the rest of the group goes back to the singer who stayed seated the whole time… and jokingly tell him that he’s kicked out of the group.
All jokes aside, the video has since gotten more than 10 million views on YouTube and it’s easy to see why. As one of the first huge a cappella groups in recent American pop music, Straight No Chaser has a contagious energy and spirit that’s all their own… and they’re definitely so, so talented.
Congratulations to Straight No Chaser on all their success and on this heart-warming surprise performance! Watch the full thing in the clip below:
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