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Hoosier Quartet Returns To Sing National Anthem At Pacers Game
Updated April 6, 2016 7:15 AM
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(KIRKLIN) - It has been 30 years since the Country and Gospel Quartet, "The Travel-Aires" appeared singing our National Anthem in the Academy Awards nominated motion picture "Hoosiers". (Dennis Hopper, Best Supporting Actor and Jerry Goldsmith, Best Original Score).

It has been almost 20 years since the quartet last walked off the stage.

Founding members Kenny Jobe, Kent Kercheval, Darrin Lafferty and Dennis Lafferty will recreate the "Hoosiers" championship game excitement. The quartet have been invited to perform the National Anthem prior to this season's last "Hickory" throwback basketball game of the Indiana Pacers and the Brooklyn Nets, on Sunday April 10th at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The game is scheduled at 6 P.M. to be televised on Fox Sports 1. (FS1) The game will also honor the 2016 men's state high school basketball champions, Liberty Christian (1A), Lapel (2A), Marion (3A) and New Albany (4A)

The quartet, all from the small town of Kirklin Indiana, were a highly sought after country show band on the Indiana Fair and Festival circuit at the time they were cast as continuity extras. The quartet performed for the cast and crew between filming and camera setups. From the beginning members of the group started pitching the idea of the National Anthem, but were told that the decision had to be made by writer Angelo Pizzo. By the time the filming had begun for the championship game at Butler's famed Hinkle Fieldhouse, the production was over budget and behind schedule. The odds were against them. This was a movie about basketball, not singing. The group learned just an hour before the last night of filming, that the part would be filmed. It should be noted; the movie production team had never heard the guys sing the anthem. The scene, shot with two cameras, took the group only one take.

Director David Anspaugh, and writer Angelo Pizzo accompanied the movie to Russia for a United States film festival. During a cast reunion appearance, they both expressed their thrill of hearing the quartet singing our National Anthem behind the Iron Curtain.

The quartet can be heard singing "Do Lord", as the Hickory team is heading to their first away game in the newly painted red church bus. They can also be seen in many of the crowd scenes.

Surprisingly, the quartet has more lines in the movie, than Maris Valainis who played the lead role of Jimmy Chitwood. During a reunion event, Chelcie Ross, who played George, ("I'll personally hide-strap your ass to a pine rail and send you up the Monon Line!") asked for the quartet's autographs stating that the guys have more lines in the movie than him.

In 2001, Hoosiers was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Hoosiers grossed over $28 million at the time of its release.

The Pacer appearance will be the largest audience the quartet has ever performed for. Bankers Life Fieldhouse holds 17,501, and a TV audience of an estimated thirty-seven thousand to sixty-eight thousand viewers. (If Fox Sports 1 telecasts the Anthem) Though with the popularity of the movie, it would be easily estimated that the quartet's appearance has been seen by nearly one billion people or more.

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