INDIANAPOLIS – Jim Nabors may famously be known as “Gomer Pyle” to the mainstream world for his role in TV shows, but to the motorsports world, Jim Nabors was famous for his real life persona. On Thursday, Nabors, 87, passed away peacefully in his Hawaii home.
Nabors, made his name in the racing world for singing “Back Home Again in Indiana” before the start of the Indianapolis 500. He did so starting in 1972 and sang for the last time in 2014. While he missed a few years at the end for declining health, Nabors still showed up when he could.
While he’s not an Indiana native, born in Alabama to be exact, he’s still considered a Hoosier. Nabors, moved to Hawaii in the 1970s and always came back to the Hoosier State every Memorial Day weekend to serenade the 250,000+ spectators at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The song itself is the unofficial state song, Nabors’ voice is always coincided with it.
Unfortunately, for a second straight year, a key voice in pre race festivities for Indy 500 tradition has been lost.
Best known for her role as Mrs. Brady in the hit show the Brady Bunch, Florence Henderson also returned to her Indiana home annually in the Month of May to sing “God Bless America.”
On Nov. 24 of last year, Henderson passed away due to heart failure. Nearly one full year later, Nov. 30 to be exact, Nabors was lost.