Singers in all genres of music can tell you there's not much that's more nerve-rattling that singing the national anthem. Unless, as in Jack Ingram's case, it's almost singing it.

Ingram was scheduled to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Ballpark in Arlington, where the Texas Rangers would take on the Kansas City Royals. His flight, however, was delayed, and his band had to perform the anthem without him.

It was all part of a full Saturday schedule that included an early morning flight from his College Station, Texas, home to Nashville to do a photo shoot and some interviews, and another flight to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport to make the baseball game on time.

"I was on the runway, thinking, 'I don't wanna miss the national anthem,' says Ingram, who had been invited by the Rangers to perform the anthem at a difficult point in his music career a few years ago.

"It was July 4, maybe 2001," Ingram told GAC recently. "I'd just got dropped from [a] label, and I was gigging around Texas, trying to create something meaningful in my home state, because in the end, you know, it's about where you come home to. And those fans, all over Texas, that was all so real for me, it really kept me going. Then to be asked to do the National Anthem on the 4th of July, it was like a sign to stick to my dream. No matter what happened, or how hard it got, keep the faith, and it would all work out."

And on Saturday night, it did work out - sort of. Ingram and his Beat-Up Ford band managed to make the post-game concert, with more than 14,000 fans on hand and ready to party. The Rangers, however, lost to the Royals 2-0.