ONE FINAL TIME
Sunday, May 25, 2014
May 25, 2014 marked the last time Jim Nabors will sing "Back Home Again in Indiana" before the Indianapolis 500.
The tradition which goes back to 1972. Jim Nabors is legendary at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and has become synonymous with race day and his rendition of the song.
He first sang the song in 1972 at the request of then-IMS owner Tony Hulman. Nabors has said that he thought he would be singing the national anthem only to learn five minutes before the race it was actually "Back Home Again in Indiana" that he would be performing.
“‘I’m from Alabama. You still want me to do it?’ He said, ‘Well, do you know it?’ I said, ‘I know the melody, but I don’t know the words.’ This is a true story. I’m writing on my hand the words in this five minutes.”
“To many Indianapolis 500 fans the pre-race pageantry at IMS is as important as the race itself, especially as the lead-up reaches its highest point with Jim Nabors singing and Mari Hulman-George giving the command to start engines.”
Fans have asked Nabors who should replace him at the race and he said he thinks the crowd should sing the song -- not just one performer.
A final tribute to Jim Nabors and his Friends around the world.
Several Photo's courtesy of Judy Van Hagen
Mari Hulman-George and Jim Nabors
He has performed in person 34 times since 1972.
Honorary Grand Marshal during the 500 Festival Parade
While the group was at lunch, Thursday before the race, one of the restaurant
staff referred to the group as Jim's "groupies", and the look on Jim's face was
priceless when he looked at the person and said, "oh, no, NOT groupies,
these are my FRIENDS" ...