Gomer Pyle aka Jim Nabors

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.


  1. Rodney says:

    You should proof read your articles you referred to the Andy Griffith Show twice as the Andy Griffin Show….SMH

  2. David Brock says:

    I’d like to say the shows that Jim Nabors was on is a treasure, not just for tv, but for our country. I believe he is the neighbor, and friend , that we all wished we had. He created a world that we all dream could be real. Sadly, we live in a totally different one. But for those moments, on tv, we live in his world. Thank you so muchfor everything, Mr. Nabors. I am retired military, and you created the world that me, and many others, lone. God Bless you, sir. And , thank you.

  3. Denise says:

    I love Gomer Pyle/Jim Nabors from since I was a little girl, (I was born 1956). One of my favorite songs from him, “Go tell aunt Rosie, the old gray goose is dead”. Gomer has such a humble spirit: However, I’m no rocket scientist, but personally, I think Gomer was really in awe when he said the word “Shazam!”, so much in awe that I think he really was saying, “Damn!” Gomer Pyle, my hero!

    • sandy rose ramsey says:

      I agree, I think Shazam was his “well I be damn” way of saying it. I grew up with the show and I watch it over and over, one of my favorite episodes is the A date for Gomer episode. Thema Lou won’t go to the Chamber of Commerce dance with Barney unless he can get a date for her homely cousin Mary Grace. Gomer fits the bill as a someone not to bright to go out with her. He buys himself a set of accessories, you know matchin thangs. A purple tie with acorns on it, yellow socks, a brown belt with a horseshoe buckle”imitation mother of pearl”, and now shoes” brass buckles on the side”. Love that episode and Gomer moves in with Andy.

  4. Stephanie says:

    “Citizens arrest! Citizens arrest!”
    Thanks for a lifetime of laughter!

  5. BoogieManStax says:

    Let us not forget, that despite the joy he brought us in his career, he hid a disgusting secret.
    And recently married his life long partner. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME.

    • sandy rose ramsey says:

      A disgusting habit? Who are you to insult the mans personal lifestyle? It is whats in a persons heart and how they treat others that counts.

    • Linda Hilbert says:

      Gay? So what? That is his business!! Is he hurting you??? Sick of homophobics! They have relationships that last longer than a lot of male/female ones!

    • Bo says:

      Wow BoogieMan, you took a nice article about a nice guy we all grew up loving and contaminated it with your hate and judgmentalism. There is nothing disgusting or shameful about what he did but there is with your comments.

    • Traveler 61 says:

      What does his sexual origination have to do with any thing. He is a great entertainer who had brought joy and happiness to millions of people

  6. Terri says:

    I know his Mom lived in Sylacauga, Alabama, because I lived nearby her. He used to come to Sylacauga and visit her often ! Shazam !

  7. Don Yarnell says:

    I knew he was gay the first time I seen and heard him. NOt due to his being gay, but I never was a fan of the Andy Griffiths show or Gomer Pyle USMC either. Anyone care to guess Barneys sexuality? Barney “one Bullet” Fife is another I had never been a fan of.

  8. pam says:

    I had the pleasure of seeing jim in concert what a beautiful voice and shook hands after what a great gentleman

  9. Teresa says:

    Don, why are you on this site if you did not care for those shows?

  10. David says:

    Don, I would be curious to know just how you knew Jim Nabors was “gay” the “first time” you “seen and heard him.” On second thought, I really don’t care how you arrived at that conclusion.

    • Mitch says:

      Thank you, David. Couldn’t have “sayed” it better.
      BTW, I met Nabors in Gasoline Alley at Indy years ago. He couldn’t have been a more genuine, unassuming guy. Don will be surprised to know that I didn’t observe anything particularly “gay”. (Like it would matter.)
      Had a similar encounter with George Lindsay in Nashville years later. Great guy, terrible Cary Grant impression. Knew “the first time I seen and heard him” he was a total Goober. In a good way.

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