James Thurston Nabors (June 12, 1930 – November 30, 2017) was an American actor, singer, and comedian.
Nabors was born and raised in Sylacauga, Alabama, but he moved to southern California because of an asthmatic condition. He was discovered by Andy Griffith while working at a Santa Monica nightclub, and he later joined The Andy Griffith Show as Gomer Pyle. The character proved popular, and Nabors was given his own spin-off show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Although Nabors was best known for his portrayal of Gomer Pyle, he became a popular guest on variety shows which showcased his rich baritone singing voice in the 1960s and 1970s, including frequent appearances on the Carol Burnett Show and two specials of his own in 1969 and 1974. He signed a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1965 and he subsequently recorded numerous albums and singles, most of them containing romantic ballads; Nabors recorded for Ranwood Records during the late 1970s.
Nabors was also known for singing "Back Home Again in Indiana" prior to the start of the Indianapolis 500, held annually over the Memorial Day weekend. He sang the unofficial Indiana anthem almost every year from 1972 to 2014, except for occasional absences due to illness or scheduling conflicts.