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
Josef Newgarden
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Newgarden Scores First Win at Barber
Newgarden, driving the No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet, is the fourth different winner in as many races this season. This was the first victory since the merger of Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and the team's sixth win overall.
Read More
Jeff Gordon
 
NASCAR Teams Slated to Test at IMS on Wednesday, April 29
As a prelude to the 22nd annual Crown Royal presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, July 26, 2015, 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup teams are scheduled to test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 29.
Read More
Josef Newgarden
 
Newgarden Victorious for First Time in Alabama
The steely 24-year-old Tennessee native "drove my race," maintaining his line in the No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet and keeping his foot to the floor on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park road course to claim his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory in his 55th start.
Read More
Conor Daly
 
Daly To Contest Indy 500 in Third SPM Entry
Conor Daly has been seeking -- no, striving for -- such an opportunity since May 2013, when the Noblesville, Ind., native made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut for AJ Foyt Racing in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.
Read More
The Rolling Stones
 
Global Live Created; Hits Ground Running with Rolling Stones’ Visit to Indianapolis
Global Entertainment, the content creation arm of Ashley Tabor’s U.K.-founded Global, The Media and Entertainment Group, has announced its newest division – Global Live.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,859
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 Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
RT @SpeedwayPD: Click on link for information about Main Street parking restrictions during @AngiesList GPI race weekend @IMS http://t.co…
about 1 hour ago