On Nov. 30, we lost Jim Nabors, an icon of the screen who played Gomer Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show.” For many, Nabors was a major part of growing up, and seeing him alongside Andy, Barney and Opie gave us plenty of smiles.
And while he was a fantastic actor on the screen, sometimes we overlook the superb singing voice that Nabors had at his command. His pipes were enough to give you goosebumps, and nearly every year from 1972 until 2014, Nabors was famous for belting out his rendition of “Back Home Again in Indiana” before the Indianapolis 500. And since it’s the holiday season, we thought it would be a good time to revisit this clip of Nabors singing “Silent Night.”
In the video, which was posted to YouTube by the Pacific Marines, Nabors is accompanied by the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band. The performance took place in 2009 at the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu for a promotional event surrounding the Corps’ “Toys for Tots” program. The video description notes that Nabors was an Honorary Marine Corporal.
Though he was never in the service, Nabors had a close relationship with the Marine Corps; following his time on “The Andy Griffith Show,” he became so popular that he was able to get his own series, entitled “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” In that show, he continued in his role of Gomer Pyle, but with the character enlisted in the Marines. The spin-off was hugely popular, and IMDB says it ran for 150 episodes.