November 30, 2017

Goodbye to Jim Nabors, the beloved Gomer.

Here's Gomer at his best (along with Barney Fife at his best):



The law's the law!

Nabors, who was 87, died peacefully at home with his husband, Stan Cadwallader.
"Everybody knows he was a wonderful man. And that's all we can say about him. He's going to be dearly missed," Cadwallader said.
ADDED: Gomer left Mayberry and joined the Marines, and let's not forget how his hilarious voice got super serious and elevated when he sang:



(This funny voice/serious singing combination has him mixed up in my head with Crazy Guggenheim.)

38 comments:

mockturtle said...

He seemed like a likable guy. Enjoyed the series.

James K said...

Perhaps the most amazing thing was to hear him sing. Fabulous voice.

Yancey Ward said...

James K is correct. I first became familiar with Nabors because of his roles as Gomer Pyle, and really only in that role- but sometime around age 11 or 12, I heard him singing in one of those late night television ads for his songs- I couldn't easily wrap my head around Gomer Pyle sounding like that.

EDH said...

When I was a kid in the late 1960s the rumor was that he was "married" to Rock Hudson.

That urban legend may have been the first allusion that presaged same sex marriage?

We also got a kick out of his baritone singing voice when compared to Gomer's high pitched drawl.

Rick Turley said...

Miss him singing at the start of the Indianapolis 500.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX43VZi7UKQ

Bay Area Guy said...

Good man, nice tv show. I remember old Sgt Carter yelling at the screen.

Every goof in every service of Boot Camp since 1970 was nicknamed, "Gomer Pyle," the most famous one in Full Metal Jacket.

Suspected he was gay, but forgot and didn't care. 87 years is a good life.

Godspeed, Mr. Nabors.

Drago said...

I was able to briefly meet Jim Nabors as he flew through the airport where I worked (I was in college and a part-time airline job is just about the greatest thing ever in those days).

He was on his way back to Hawaii and yes, there was a "boyfriend" there with him along with a couple others.

I will say this: He was easily one of most gracious individuals you could ever come across. You'd think it was his job to put you at ease and make your life easier.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I had the "pleasure" to be lectured at by Barbara Walters about how "this was no way to run an airline".

So, you know. You get all types.

Bill Peschel said...

Yes, his "marriage" to Rock was portrayed by Drew Friedman.

I wish we had a memoir from him, but his silence should be respected, too. I hope he lived his life the way he wanted and was happy.

Mike Sylwester said...

The Andy Griffith Show was one of the best comedy series ever.

My favorite character was Floyd the barber.

Oso Negro said...

In that episode, Sgt. Carter wanted him to sing "That Old Black Magic".

Drago said...

Mike Sylvester: "My favorite character was Floyd the barber"

Floyd the Barber, "Green Acres" Mr Haney (Pat Buttram) and the amazing Andy Devine were some of the best sidekick/B-actors ever to show up on the screen.

Drago said...

I can still hear Nabors' version "The Impossible Dream".

Drago said...

Ha! Ann added it!

Michael K said...

"I had the "pleasure" to be lectured at by Barbara Walters about how "this was no way to run an airline".

If only you had looked like John Lindsay.

I had a DI in basic training who looked and sounded just like Gomer Pyle. Nobody has known who I was talking about for 30 years.

richlb said...

My father used to love the way Neighbors sang, but hated watching him sing.

Mike Sylwester said...

Drago, great minds think alike.

On Green Acres my favorite character was Mr. Haney.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Great clip. Oh how Hillarywood has fallen.

gspencer said...

Well, Gomer had it right from that skit. There are two sets of laws.

David said...

Jim was gay. Same partner for 40 years. Fidelity has its rewards. RIP.

madAsHell said...

I couldn't easily wrap my head around Gomer Pyle sounding like that.

I still don't understand how his talking voice could sound so....honky.....while his singing voice was truly a gift.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Mike Sylwester said...
The Andy Griffith Show was one of the best comedy series ever.

My favorite character was Floyd the barber.

11/30/17, 1:31 PM

Otis the drunk was pretty good too.

I remember my mom telling me Nabors had a beautiful singing voice but I didn't believe her for a long time because of Gomer Pyle until I heard him sing on some variety show.

My mom loved him. She also loved Liberace and Paul Lynde and the boy who came over to play dolls with my sister and "cook" with her Easy Bake Oven. (He became a chef, is a very nice guy, and yeah, he's flamingly gay.) Now that I think of it, my mom had great gaydar. I have wondered about the soft spot some matronly ladies have for gay men. I guess it's their protective maternal instinct coming out.

readering said...

Jim Nabors and Jerry Lewis. Two great comedians but I could never get past their voices.

Richard Dolan said...

Nice baritone. Good technique, too.

William Chadwick said...

About twenty years ago there was a morning-radio host who had a regular bit in which "celebrities" (actually celebrity impersonators) used to call into the radio show. Two of the most frequent "callers" were ANDY GRIFFIN characters Gomer Pyle and Howard Sprague. Every time Howard called in there would be jokes about masturbation and circle jerks; every time Gomer called there would be dead-Sgt. Carter and Gay jokes. One I remember is the host asking him something like, "Hey, Gomer, are you still in the Marines? Shouldn't you have gotten your discharge by now?" "Discharge!?" Gomer says: "I don't like to talk about a discharge."

Ray said...

Amazing clip that was the funniest I have seen in a long time. I remember watching the show as a child. I"ll need to show my wife and daughter, they would have missed the show growing up.

The clip is a great tribute to Jim Nabors!

Well done post.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

@Drago,

He was easily one of most gracious individuals you could ever come across

Perhaps the charm came with his southern genes. He was from Sylacauga, Alabama (famous for its marble). The Wikipedia article says he move to California as a young adult for his asthma. Yeah, well, if I lived in Sylacauga in the late 40s-50s & was gay, I'd find any damn excuse I could to be somewhere else, too.

I wonder if his Southern boofer persona on screen was a way to hide the fact that his real life persona was a bit too fey for public consumption back then.

Quaestor said...

This funny voice/serious singing combination has him mixed up in my head with Crazy Guggenheim.

The notional POV customer, Mr. Dennehy, had only one beer during that entire 5-minute bit. (This example online runs 4:47.)

Ann's inner confusion worries me that she's doing boilermakers.

Quaestor said...

My favorite character was Floyd the barber.

To me, the best thing about the "Andy Griffith Show" was its richly drawn supporting characters, which have over the ensuing years given us some of the best parody material in the history of television. A good example is this bit from an SCTV parody of "The Godfather".

The video I linked to is truncated. In its full-length Floyd the Barber has another request of Don Caballero, "I want you to kill Howard Sprague. He owes me for a haircut."

I know its off-topic, but everyone will get a lift from watching the entire 30-minute Godfather parody here.

Robin Eatmon said...

His yearly singing of "Back Home in Indiana" at the Indy 500 was one of the more memorable sports moments!

Fernandistein said...

Gomer and Barney are after some salve salesmen - "I wish I could do my voice like that!" ... "Opie Taylor Senior" ...

Floyd the barber was paralyzed in the later shows - he was always seated. I used to have that show memorized.

Fernandistein said...

Michael K said...
Nobody has known who I was talking about for 30 years.


You're talking about yourself, as usual. That was an easy one.

Ken B said...

He said boob. They both said boob! Don’t tell CNN!

Michael K said...

"
Blogger Fernandistein said...
Michael K said...
Nobody has known who I was talking about for 30 years.

You're talking about yourself, as usual. That was an easy one."

Go away and haunt someone else. I;m starting to think you're a stalker. Creep.

Mark said...

An entertaining guy with a good career.

And yet so many people want to define him by his sex life.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

By all accounts a good guy, and officially an honorary Marine--that's no joke.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Crazy Guggenheim sang?

AllenS said...

Jim Nabors was never a Marine. He played one on tv.