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
Moto2
 
Back to Business as Moto2 Returns to America
Indianapolis has produced dramatic results in the intermediate class, in 2008 the 250cc race was called off due to hurricane Ike hitting the Speedway. Then in 2014 the Moto2™ race was red flagged after just four laps, all riders will be hoping 2015 goes off without issue.
Read More
Jake Zemke
 
Jake Zemke Will Race a Ducati Superbike at Indianapolis
In his new rider-management role with Wasserman Media Group, Zemke has attended all but one MotoAmerica race this year, but round eight at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week will be the first time he has cinched up a helmet.
Read More
Red Bull Indianapolis GP
 
2015 Red Bull Indianapolis GP Storylines
Indianapolis is the 10th round in the MotoGP World Championship and marks the start of the second half of the season. MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 classes will take the track all three days along with the new MotoAmerica series appearing at IMS for the first time.
Read More
Red Bull Indianapolis GP
 
MotoGP Title Battle Set to Recommence at Indianapolis
The iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway will play host to its eighth Red Bull Indianapolis GP this Sunday as riders and teams return from the summer break well-rested and prepared to do battle once more in what is turning into an epic MotoGP World Championship title scrap. The passionate American fans will be hoping for more of the same as last year’s race saw an incredible opening few laps with Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso all involved in a brilliant fight, before Marquez went on to secure the win by 1.8 seconds.
Read More
Graham Rahal
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Rahal Thrills Ohio Fans, Inches Closer to Montoya
Rahal's surge in the second half of the Verizon IndyCar Series season continued with his second win in five weeks. Rahal, who started 13th in the 90-lap race in the No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, closed to nine points of Verizon IndyCar Series championship front-runner Juan Pablo Montoya with two races left in the season. There are 10 entries mathematically eligible for the title.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,008
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
.@MotoGP is back from summer break and ready to ride at IMS in ONLY 5 days! #IndyGP http://t.co/ccJmir47Il http://t.co/dryTbK1Wd5
about 12 hours ago