People are often critical of the national anthem performance before NASCAR races. However, there will be few that will have much of a gripe about the incredible performance put in by saxophonist Mike Phillips and pianist West Byrd.
The performance started with Byrd playing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” which was adopted by the NAACP as the song of faith and freedom. As soon as Byrd completes this, Phillips comes in with a strongly played rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner on his saxophone.
This performance will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Amazingly done.
That was incredible. Legendary saxophonist @m_dot_philly performs our national anthem.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 28, 2020
The addition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at the beginning of the performance is impactful as that song has been referred to as the “black national anthem” for years. In the wake of everything that is going on in the United States from a race standpoint, it was a classy start to the performance.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.