(Back Home Again in) Indiana


Indiana (M. James Hanley, w. Ballard MacDonald) aka Back Home Again in Indiana

Excerpts from Wikipedia:

(Back Home Again in) Indiana is a song composed by Ballard MacDonald and James F. Hanley first published in January of 1917. While it is not the official state song of the U.S. state of Indiana (“On the Banks of the Wabash”), it is perhaps the best-known song that pays tribute to the Hoosier State. It contains a musical quotation from the already well known “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away“, as well as repetition of some key words and phrases from the lyrics of the latter: moonlight, candlelight, fields, new-mown hay, sycamores, and of course the Wabash River.

Since 1946, it has been an annual tradition for the chorus of the song to be performed at the Indianapolis 500 automobile race. In most years since 1972, it has been sung by actor and singer Jim Nabors [who regularly modifies the lyrics]…backed by the Purdue Marching Band. It is performed immediately following “The Star-Spangled Banner”, the Invocation, and the rendering of “Taps”. The song is accompanied by a large balloon release near the end. The Indiana State Marching Sycamores also have a rendition of this song that is played at every event.

Homestead Trio — Edison Blue Amberol 3249 (Mold 2), issued in 1917



Original Dixie Jazz Band – 1917 — In Jazzstandards.com’s “Jazz History Notes” section of the song profile, historian Chris Tyle says, “The Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded “Indiana” for Columbia Records on January 30, 1917, days after their first successful New York appearance.”


Eddie Condon Quartet – recorded in New York, 28 July 1928; issued in the US on Columbia 35950 (matrix 401035), c/w “Oh, Baby!” (Owen Murphy)

  • Eddie Condon: banjo, vocals
  • Frank Teschemacher: clarinet, alto saxophone
  • Joe Sullivan: piano
  • Gene Krupa: drums


Red Nichols and his Five Pennies — Red Nichols, Leo McConville, Manny Klein, t / Glenn Miller, tb, a / Jack Teagarden, Bill Trone, or Herb Taylor, tb / Benny Goodman, cl, as, bar / as / Babe Russin, ts / Arthur Schutt, p / Carl Kress, g / Art Miller, sb / Gene Krupa, d / Scrappy Lambert, v. New York, 18 April 1929


Lester Young Trio — recorded in NYC, 15 July 1942

Lester Young – tenor sax
Nat Cole – piano
Red Callender – bass


Dave Brubeck Trio – Coronet 103-B (The A side is Laura) recorded in San Francisco, CA, 1949

  • Dave Brubeck – piano
  • Ron Crotty – bass
  • Cal Tjader – drums


Louis Armstrong – early 1960s (?)


Dudley Moore Trio – from the album Jazz Jubilee, a collection of live performances from the 1970s


Oscar Peterson – Mon­treux Jazz Fes­ti­val 1975


Gary Burton — from the 2001 CD album For Hamp, Red, Bags And Cal, Concord Jazz ‎CCD-4941-2

musicians on this track, from jazzdisco.org: Gary Burton (vibraphone), Russell Malone (guitar), Christian McBride (bass)


Straight No Chaser – A cappella group, date unknown


Jim Nabors at the Indianapolis 500May 24, 2009



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan
    Mar 17, 2013 @ 17:05:22

    Has anyone ever recorded the real State Song of Indiana, Back Home Again in Indiana, Far Away?



    • doc
      Mar 18, 2013 @ 22:09:30

      I’m sure it will be one day. What’s the title, again?

      Though not by design, the only state song I presently have on the site is Tennessee Waltz. My favorite state song (of those that I’m aware of) by far, is Hang On Sloopy, the Ohio state rock song. Truck on out and spread the news…



  2. Susan
    Mar 18, 2013 @ 23:00:30

    Forget the last post, The State song of Indiana is On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away by Paul Dresser and the famous version is Back Home Again in Indiana by Ballard McDonald.
    I am not sure the real State Song has been recorded at least I do not think I have ever heard it. I have only heard the famous version that is played at the INDY 500 each year.



    • doc
      Mar 19, 2013 @ 01:26:45


      I was teasing you a bit. Yes, the real state song has been recorded, many times. Here are a couple of examples:

      On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away (Paul Dresser) published in 1897

      Vernon Archibald and chorus , accompanied by orchestra– cylinder: Edison Blue Amberol 2147, issued in 1914

      Shannon Quartet — recorded on 29 December 1927, issued as Columbia 1358D, c/w The Sidewalks of New York



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

web stats

%d bloggers like this: