In 1998, the Indiana University men's a cappella group Straight No Chaser put together a madcap arrangement of "Twelve Days of Christmas
," blending it with "The Dreidel Song" and Toto's "Africa
." When they performed it at a school concert that December, the crowd went nuts.
They were well-known on campus and had performed at Carnegie Hall, but when the 10 members graduated, they moved on from a cappella with fond memories and at least one videotape copy of that show. In 2006, one of the singers, Randy Stine, uploaded the performance to YouTube, which launched just a year earlier and was filled with curios like "Evolution Of Dance" and "Lazy Sunday" that would occasionally go viral. By Christmas, the Straight No Chaser version of "Twelve Days Of Christmas" went viral as well and got the attention of Atlantic Records, which offered them a contract. Eight members of the original group took the offer and returned to the group, augmented by two Straight No Chaser members from later classes at IU. Their first album, Holiday Spirits
, was released in 2008 with the original live version of "The 12 Days Of Christmas." The album went Gold and the group launched a successful tour; the next year, they repeated the feat with the album Christmas Cheers
. They've established themselves as the top a cappella Christmas act, touring every year and releasing a new album from time to time. In 2014, they teamed with Kristen Bell for an original song called "Text Me Merry Christmas
Over the years, some members have left the group, but they have a built-in farm team at Indiana University, where the a cappella group is now known as Another Round.