Gomer Pyle, really Jim Nabors, was discovered by Andy Griffith when he was working at The Horn in Santa Monica California. Nabors was singing and doing a comedy act with a character similar to Gomer Pyle. At Griffith’s request Jim Nabors joined the Andy Griffith Show.
In the Andy Griffith Show Jim Nabors plays Gomer Pyle a single, sweet, not very bright, good natured gas station attendant living in Mayberry . Gomer is always willing to hep, often he is more of a hindrance than a help.
Gomer is amazed by the simplest things and is known to say “Sur-prise, sur-prise, sur-prise” or “shame, shame, shame” or maybe “G-o-l-l-y” or even “Shazam” when he is in awe of something. It depended on the circumstances.
Its hard for me to reconcile the beautiful rich baritone voice of Jim Nabors coming from the unassuming Gomer Pyle. Jim Nabors as Gomer first sang on the Andy Griffith Show
After two years delighting fans on the Andy Griffin Show Gomer left the gas station in Mayberry to go off and join the marines. There was a spin off from the Andy Griffin Show titled Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Gomer is still his bumbling self and he drives his drill sergeant wild. Eventually Gomer’s personality and trust wins over the members of his platoon as well as his sergeant. The show was aired during the Vietnam War but it did not deal with political issues. Instead it focused on problems caused by Gomer’s unintended mistakes and his countrified ways rooted in rural America.
Jim Nabors would go on to sing on the Danny Kaye Show and many other variety shows. He later hosted his own variety show The Jim Nabors Hour. A few year later Nabors hosted a new show called The Jim Nabors Show. He recorded many successful records and albums, mainly ballads. He sang gospel, pop and country songs too.
In 1973 Jim Nabors sang the National Anthem before one of the World Series Baseball Games. He is also known for singing “Back Home Again in Indiana” before the start of the Indianapolis 500.
As a young person Jim Nabors sang for his high school and church. In addition to his roles as Gomer and his singing successes Nabors appeared in numerous TV shows and several movie features. He also performed in shows in Las Vegas and Reno. His long career covered forty year and in 1991 Jim Nabors received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.