Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hank Jr. to Sing MNF Anthem for 19th Year; New Open Debuts Sept. 10

The names of the NFL superstars who have performed on Monday Night Football the past two decades are constantly changing, but one name has remained constant since 1989 – Hank Williams, Jr. The legendary singer has earned four Emmy awards (1991-1994) and national acclaim among fans for singing the anthem that kicks off the NFL's weekly primetime showcase game. That legacy will continue for the 19th year when Williams will perform the opening theme to ESPN's MNF this fall with a new all-star band featuring singer/songwriter Brian Setzer and other popular artists. Williams will again perform "All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night" – based on his hit song "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight."

This year's version will offer a "boogie-woogie" and big-band music flare with the addition of Setzer and 13 members of the horn section from the Brian Setzer Orchestra. ESPN introduced the all-star band concept during its inaugural MNF season a year ago, and this year's diverse collection of musicians is scheduled to feature new artists representing rock 'n roll, pop, country and funk, including: Guitarists Brian Setzer (Stray Cats/Brian Setzer Orchestra), Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), country music sensation Gretchen Wilson, and young phenom Drake Bell, the 21-year-old actor/singer/songwriter from the popular Nickelodeon series Drake and Josh; Keyboardist John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting); Funk bassist Bootsy Collins (Parliament Funkadelic); and Drummer Cindy Blackman (drummer for Lenny Kravitz).

"Bootsy Collins, Gretchen Wilson, Richie Sambora...these are definitely some of my rowdiest friends. With names like these in the open for Monday Night Football, this year's theme will get everyone fired up for that pigskin."
-Hank Jr

The MNF opening video will feature team-specific lyrics and visuals each week based on the 17 regular-season ESPN match-ups. The taping will take place Monday, Aug. 20 at House of Blues Las Vegas with all of the musicians.

Media contact at (615) 777-6995, Extension 30 is Kirt Webster

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