Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

There’s nothing quite as rousing as the National Anthem, I think many of our readers will agree to that sentiment.

Of course, arguably the best thing about the tune is that it can be played and performed in so many different ways. Artists often endeavor to put their own spin on it when giving a rendition before a sporting event, and deciding which ‘version’ suits the lyrics and tone best is a job for bolder men than I.

That said, I know the difference between an offering of the song that does it justice and one that does not. And trust me when I tell you that the performance behind the article you’re currently reading sits firmly in the first category…

If you’ve never heard of “Harmonica Pete”, then I can suggest searching his name on YouTube. Born Peter B. DuPré, he was stationed in England as a medic for the United States Army during the course of World War II.

Today, all those many decades later, he’s a 96-year-old who made a stir on social media due to an absolutely stunning rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Credit / YouTube

Back in 2019, Pete was given the honor of being asked to perform the US National Anthem before a Memorial Day weekend soccer match between the US and Mexico women’s teams.

WWII Peter donned a US soccer shirt for the occasion, as well as a “World War II Veteran” hat decorated by pins and medals.

Now, we feel the need to add that this was no ordinary performance. How could it be? “Harmonica Pete” was playing to a crowd of 26,000!

Yet the old hand rose to the occasion, soon filling the arena with beautifully sweet notes. What’s more, Peter remains incredibly humble regarding his obvious talent with a harmonica.

“I am a harmonica player,” he said. “I don’t know a darn thing about music, but I know how to make a harmonica talk.”

Needless to say, Peter’s performance was a hair-raiser, and quickly went viral online, racking up some nine million views across both Facebook and X (formerly known as Twitter).

As for his heroics on the harmonica, Peter remained characteristically nonchalant. “This was just the simple ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ the way it was written, and played the way it was meant to be played,” he said.

Watch “Harmonica Pete” in action in the video below: