Wayne P. Messmer (born July 19, 1950) is a professional speaker, singer, broadcaster, author and actor. He is a professional member of SAG/AFTRA and the National Speakers Association. He was the long-time public address announcers for the Chicago Cubs. He sings "The Star-Spangled Banner" before many Cubs games, as well as prior to all Chicago Wolves American Hockey League games. Messmer is part owner of the Chicago Wolves. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national fraternity for men in music.
In the mid-1980s, Messmer was the newscaster on WYTZ (Z-95) Radio's "Barsky Morning Zoo".
For many years, he also sang for the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bears and Chicago Sting. In 1991, when Messmer sang at the NHL All-Star Game at Chicago Stadium, he was nearly drowned out by cheers from the sellout crowd, mainly in support of the U.S. troops that had entered the Gulf War just days prior. He was fired by the Blackhawks in 1994 when he began working for the "rival" Wolves. They allowed him to sing the anthem one last time at the Hawks first home game at United Center on January 25, 1995. On October 14, 1994 he sang the national anthem at the Rosemont Horizon (now Allstate Arena) introducing the Chicago Wolves and the IHL to Chicago. It was his first performance since being shot (see below). The St. Louis Blues invited Messmer to sing the anthem at their home game when they opened the Kiel Center. Messmer often performs the Anthem with his wife Kathleen.
Messmer's performance of the Anthem is always concluded with his trademark flourish on the final word "Brave" in which he forcefully flips the "r" and sings the word an octave above the same pitch as the Anthem is begun.
In April 1994, Messmer was shot in the throat outside a West Side Chicago restaurant. He survived the incident and after months of therapy continued his career as a singer and announcer. However, this incident prevented him from being able to sing the anthem for the final six Blackhawks home games at Chicago Stadium before its closing. A recording of Messmer singing was used instead for these games.
Since November 2011, he has hosted a jazz radio program Sunday evenings on 90.9fm WDCB Public Radio, "Homelife Jazz with Wayne Messmer."
- Amateur video of Messmer singing on June 1, 2007
- 10 Best NHL All-Star Game Moments
- Homelife Jazz with Wayne Messmer at WDCB.org
- Wayne Messmer and Associates