News & Multimedia

Nabors Says Farewell With Song in His Heart

At the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, a familiar voice performed “(Back Home Again in) Indiana” one last time.

Jim Nabors once was seen on television screens across the nation as Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show” and its spinoff, "Gomer Pyle USMC." Nowadays, his character evokes a sense of nostalgia for those who grew up watching the shows in the 1960s and 70s. Even for those not old enough to remember those days, the sound of his voice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway can be recognized by fans of all ages.

The tradition of Nabors singing before the race began in 1972.

“I had no idea that it’d be all of these years later and I’d still be doing this,” said Nabors, 83. “I feel very grateful. I’ve been totally blessed in my life with getting to do things like this and getting to know all of the people I’ve known and become friends with.”

Between 1987 and 2006, Nabors hadn’t missed a race. The streak was broken in 2007 because of illness that prevented him from traveling from his home in Hawaii. For many, it was strange not hearing that baritone voice echo throughout the Speedway. However, after this year, they’ll have to move forward just as Nabors is.

“There’s a time in life when you have to move on. I’ll be 84 this year and I just figured it was time. It’s kind of hard to travel and there’s just a bunch of reasons,” Nabors said. “This really is the highlight of my year. It’s very sad for me, but there’s something inside me that tells me when to go.”

Though he’s an Alabama native, Indiana is a part of him.

“Right after singing ‘(Back Home Again in) Indiana’ for the first time, I became a total Hoosier – I really did,” he said. “It’s been a great run for me.”
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Nabors Says Farewell With Song in His Heart
 
Nabors Says Farewell With Song in His Heart
At the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, a familiar voice performed “(Back Home Again in) Indiana” one last time.
Read More
Related Media
Turkey at IMS
 
10 Reasons for Every IMS Fan To Be Thankful
Thanksgiving is a time for family, for introspection about the route of our lives since last November and for counting blessings. It’s no different for fans of racing and of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. So here are 10 things every IMS fan can be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Read More
Danica Patrick
 
Where Will Danica Land for Final Indy 500 Drive next May?
Not long after a tearful Danica Patrick announced the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil would be the final race of her career, the news was still very fresh for many Verizon IndyCar Series team owners to digest.
Read More
NASCAR Teams
 
NASCAR to Standardize At-Track Rosters in 2018
NASCAR announced Wednesday morning that it will standardize at-track team rosters across all three national series in 2018, providing a structure for the number of personnel working on each vehicle during the course of a race weekend.
Read More
Danica Patrick
 
Danica Plans To Race in 102nd Indianapolis 500 Next May
Fan favorite Danica Patrick announced Friday, Nov. 17 she plans to race in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in May 2018, the last start in her barrier-breaking career as a race driver.
Read More
Lights at the Brickyard
 
Expanded Lights at the Brickyard Open Now through Dec. 30 at IMS
Lights at the Brickyard, the popular, drive-through holiday display that debuted last year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, opens Friday evening, Nov. 17 to provide warm memories for families at the Racing Capital of the World.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,821
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21