I’m not really Back Home Again in Indiana, although I did call Evansville, Indiana home for about 15 years. I am happy to be living in Fort Collins, Colorado, one of the coolest towns on the planet.
When I lived in Indiana, there was a shortage of good guitarists to jam with. I’m not saying that there were none, but there were only 2 within an hour of Evansville that I ever became aware of. It was kind of sad for me.
I truly love the music scene and culture here in Fort Collins. There are multiple jam sessions every week. On Mondays there’s the beginner’s bluegrass jam; on Tuesdays, there is an old-time jam at the Tap and Handle (and sometimes a small bluegrass jam); on Wednesdays there is a Celtic session at Mulligan’s, and a big bluegrass jam at Avogadro’s Number.
I really feel at home in Fort Collins, although there are a lot of good people back in Indiana that I do miss.
Back Home Again in Indiana according to Wikipedia
“(Back Home Again in) Indiana” is a song composed by Ballard MacDonald and James F. Hanley, first published in January 1917. While it is not the official state song of the U.S. state of Indiana (“On the Banks of the Wabash”), it is perhaps the best-known song that pays tribute to the Hoosier State.
Origin and influence
The tune was introduced as a Tin Pan Alley pop-song of the time. It contains a musical quotation from the already well known “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away”, as well as repetition of some key words and phrases from the lyrics of the latter: moonlight, candlelight, fields, new-mown hay, sycamores, and of course the Wabash River.
In 1934, Joe Young, Jean Schwartz, and Joe Ager wrote “In a Little Red Barn (on a Farm down in Indiana)”, which not only incorporated all the same key words and phrases above, but whose chorus had the same harmonic structure as “Indiana”. In this respect it was a contrafact of the latter (see “A jazz standard” below).
A jazz standard
In 1917 it was one of the current pop tunes selected by Columbia Records to be recorded by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, who released it as a Columbia 78, A2297, backed with “Darktown Strutters’ Ball”. This lively instrumental version by the ODJB was one of the earliest jazz records issued and sold well. The tune became a jazz standard. For years, Louis Armstrong and his All Stars would open each public performance with the number.
Albert Nicholas, clarinetist, with The Big Chief Jazz Band recorded it on Oslo August 29, 1955. Released on the 78 rpm record Philips P 53037 H.
Its chord changes undergird the Miles Davis bop composition “Donna Lee”, one of jazz’s best known contrafacts (a composition that overlays a new melody over an existing harmonic structure). Other lesser known contrafacts include Fats Navarro’s “Ice Freezes Red” and Lennie Tristano’s “Ju-Ju”.
An Indiana signature
Further information: Indianapolis 500 traditionsSince 1946, it has been an annual tradition for the chorus of the song to be performed at the Indianapolis 500 automobile race. In most years since 1972, it has been sung by actor and singerJim Nabors. Nabors’ version alters several of the lyrics, substituting “shining” with “burning”, “all” with “out”, “from” with “through”, and “then” with “how”. The singing is backed by the PurdueAll-American Marching Band. It is performed immediately following “The Star-Spangled Banner”, the Invocation, and the rendering of “Taps”. The song is accompanied by a large balloon release near the end. The Indiana State Marching Sycamores also have a rendition of this song that is played at every event.
The song is also featured prominently at the Indiana State Museum where a steam clock plays the tune at the top of every hour. 
Since 1991 Indianapolis TV station WISH-TV used components of the song in their news themes; and since 1997 Fort Wayne TV station WANE-TV (WISH-TV’s sister station owned by LIN TV) has also used components of the song in their news themes. Stephen Arnold Music’s Newsleader and “Counterpoint with Indiana” (aka WISH-TV News Music Package) and 615 Music’s “In-Sink V.4″ (aka “In-Sink with Indiana”) are news music themes that have the “Back Home Again in Indiana” Signature.
It is also used to open every Little 500 bicycle race held at Indiana University.