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     Nabors, Jim (12th June 1930-Present)

    He is an actor and singer born James Thurston Nabors in Sylacauga, Alabama.  He began singing in church and while he was at high school and then began acting when he was studying at the University of Alabama. 

     

    Instead of moving straight into the entertainment business after he graduated, he moved to New York and went to work for the United Nations as a typist.  A year later he relocated to Chattanooga, Tennessee and got his first taste of working in television when he secured a job as a film cutter.

     

    As he was an asthmatic he decided to move to the better climate of Los Angeles, California, and began film cutting for NBC.  At the same time, he worked at The Horn tavern in Santa Monica at night.  He acted and sang with the cabaret there and after being spotted was signed to The Steve Allen Show which was unfortunately cancelled before too long.  He was also spotted by Andy Griffith and signed to appear in one of his shows as the character Gomer Pyle.  He was such a hit that he became a regular on The Andy Griffith Show and eventually got his own spin-off series, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.  The show ran for 5 seasons before being cancelled by CBS.

     

    In 1964 he made an appearance on The Danny Kaye Show and this time it was his singing rather than acting that was noticed.  It brought him enough recognition to be awarded a recording contract and several successful recordings ensued as well as a busy concert schedule.  In 1966 he achieved his first gold record with the album Jim Nabors Sings Love Me With All Your Heart.  This was equalled in 1968 with the gold album Jim Nabors Sings The Lord’s Prayer.

     

    In 1969 he began presenting his The Jim Nabors Hour and after it was cancelled in 1971 he began touring with his own roadshow.  Never getting away from his Gomer Pyle type character he made appearances on children’s TV and began a regular annual appearance on the first show every season of The Carol Burnett Show, where he was called a “good-luck charm”.

     

    In 1973 he appeared in a straight role in The Rookies, but going back to his variety show preference he began presenting his The Jim Nabors Show in 1977.  He gained an Emmy nomination for the show even though it only lasted for a year.  During the 1970s he also began his yearly tradition of singing “Back Home Again in Indiana” prior to the Indianapolis 500.

     

    Becoming disillusioned with the television work he decided to head for the stage and toured as a member of the cast of Man of La Mancha where he became known for his rendition of “The Impossible Dream”.  It wasn’t too long before he was wooed back to the TV to work in the series The Lost Saucer.

     

    In 1976 he moved from California to Hawaii where he bought a macadamia nut plantation and started the show The Jim Nabors Polynesian Extravaganza.  It ran for two years before he left the limelight for several years until appearing in the Moulin Rouge show in various Nevada locations.  He also appeared in The Music Man at the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater.

     

    The 1980’s came along in style when he won a platinum album for his The Heart Touching Magic of Jim Nabors.  He also ventured into movies in the 1980s he appeared in three films starring his friend Burt Reynolds.  He then appeared in the TV movie Return to Mayberry where he got back together with other previous co-members of The Andy Griffith Show.

     

    As with the success at the beginning of the previous decade, he achieved a gold album with his Jim Nabors’ Christmas Album in 1990.  Just a few years later though, he had to have a liver transplant after contracting hepatitis B while on a trip to India.  This didn’t slow him down for too long though as he began nationally touring again before the new millennium.  He also starred in his A Merry Christmas with Friends and Nabors in Honolulu, which ran until 2006.

     

    Often recognised for his work in the entertainment industry, he had a star awarded to him on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991 and he became an inductee into the Alabama Stage & Screen Hall of Fame in 2006.  He has also been honoured by the University of Alabama, the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Pacific University.

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.jimnabors.com/
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Nabors
    3. http://www.answers.com/topic/jim-nabors
    4. http://www.alamhof.org/jimnabors.html
    5. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001561/bio
    6. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001561/
    7. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=JIM|NABORS&sql=11:d9fixqe5ldfe~T1
    8. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=JIM|NABORS&sql=11:d9fixqe5ldfe~T4
    9. http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/nabors_jim/albums.jhtml

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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