Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Jim Nabors as "Gomer Pyle"
James Thurston "Jim" Nabors (born June 12, 1930) is an American actor and singer. Born and raised in Sylacauga, Alabama, Nabors moved to southern California because of his asthma. While working at a Santa Monica nightclub, The Horn, he was discovered by Andy Griffith and later joined The Andy Griffith Show, playing Gomer Pyle. Nabors and Ron Howard are the last surviving regular male cast members from that series. The character proved popular, and Nabors was given his own spin-off show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C..
Though known for his portrayal of Gomer Pyle, Nabors became a popular guest on variety shows in the 1960s and 1970s (including two specials of his own in 1969 and 1974), which showcased his rich baritone voice. He subsequently recorded numerous albums and singles, most of them containing romantic ballads.
Nabors is also known for singing "Back Home Again in Indiana", prior to the start of the Indianapolis 500, held annually over the Memorial Day Weekend. Except for a few absences due to health or other conflicts, Nabors sang the unofficial Indiana anthem every year from 1972 until his final time in 2014.