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First year for Jim Nabors

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  • First year for Jim Nabors

    What was the first year that Jim Nabors sang Back home again in Indiana at the race?

    I was looking at the pictures on my 1970's Indy 500 CD and they have a picture of him from 1972 standing on a ladder singing and it looks like he has the lyrics laid out in front of him. Was this his first year?

    Since he started has he been the only one to sing it? When I watched the ESPN legends of the brickyard from 1979 the voice they had singing it did not sound like him thought they never showed the singer. I seem to remember him being sick a few years back so they used a recording of him.


    Outlaw

  • #2
    1973

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mot...dy_traditions/
    No where in your rambling incoherent response did you come close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. We are all dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mstrangfeld
      I know for a fact he did it in 1972, It's my reaseach that 1972 was his first. Most articles are dead wrong about saying he does it "every year" too. There were many years which he didn't do it. The Speedway themselves made a big gaffe in 1995 saying it was hist "25th year." Not sure where they were coming from that one, maybe 25 years that he had been going to the race, but certianly not singing.


      http://www.geocities.com/johnsonindy...homeagain.html

      I'm only missing a handfull of years where I'm not sure.
      Doctorindy.com

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Doctorindy
        I know for a fact he did it in 1972, It's my reaseach that 1972 was his first. Most articles are dead wrong about saying he does it "every year" too. There were many years which he didn't do it. The Speedway themselves made a big gaffe in 1995 saying it was hist "25th year." Not sure where they were coming from that one, maybe 25 years that he had been going to the race, but certianly not singing.


        http://www.geocities.com/johnsonindy...homeagain.html

        I'm only missing a handfull of years where I'm not sure.
        You, I would trust!

        http://harm.net
        http://CampAndBrew.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by GlennH
          You, I would trust!
          I believed the first one because they invoked the name of Donald Davidson.

          However I have never known Doctorindy to be wrong either. Should have know to consult his web site.

          Outlaw

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          • #6
            I have a recording of Pete de Paolo in '71. He was a fine driver but as a singer, he was a fine driver.......

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            • #7
              I remember those God-awful replacement singers for several years.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Truth Detector
                I remember those God-awful replacement singers for several years.

                Phil Harris in 1981.
                If I were Ed Carpenter and you were a lady...

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                • #9
                  This is a touch off topic, but I'll probably never see another thread where I could post this:

                  The absolute greatest version of Back Home In Indiana I've ever heard was at Motegi last year. A local US Air Force Band played an up tempo version of the piece, and accompanied a drum line of what seemed to be at least 30 Japanese kids of about middle school age who absolutely rocked.

                  I was lucky enough to not only hear them perform while the cars were on grid, but also when they rehearsed the piece a couple of hours prior. The rehearsal was the better show because there were no distractions, or other noise.

                  Now, whenever I think of the song, and especially while I've been reading this thread, the Motegi version goes rockin' and rollin' through my brain. I'll probably keep hearing it while I'm trying to go to sleep tonight.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Outlaw
                    However I have never known Doctorindy to be wrong either...
                    Ha...somebody caught me on something in another thread this week...so I'm close!

                    Anyway, Donald wrote a piece about "Back Home Again..." in the 1996 Indy Program, and listed several of the performers. A caption of Jim Nabors says he was "already on the way to becoming a Speedway tradition of his own in 1972." I'm not sure what DD meant by that, but I can't find any record of him doing it before that.

                    Well, it's still "research onging..."
                    Doctorindy.com

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                    • #11
                      Is BHAII usually performed as a jazz-type song? I have a VHS of a 500 from the late '80s where the guy performing the song (not JN) sings it almost like a marching song. And other versions of the song that I've heard, Louis Armstrong comes to mind, also perform it like a swing/dance song. Me, I like JN's version the best, and I thought that this year with the troops marching as he sang was just about perfect. It is a song about soldiers coming home from WWI, right?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Guy
                        Is BHAII usually performed as a jazz-type song? I have a VHS of a 500 from the late '80s where the guy performing the song (not JN) sings it almost like a marching song.
                        You're speaking of John Davies in 1986. He was the Artist in Residence at the Indianapolis Opera. To the best of my knowledge, Jim Nabors was scheduled to sing in '86, but the rain delay pushed the race back a week, and the Speedway scrambled to find a replacement.

                        Usually it would be Nabors (or whomever) backed up by the Purdue Band. Purdue couldn't be there because of the delay (same thing happened in '97), so they organized a small four-man band from Ft. Benjamin Harrison to back him up.

                        But anyway, he sung up as an "up-tempo" hot number, and it was weird (for what we were used to). But apparently back when it first came out in the 30's, it was commonly sang that way. It is certianly a song that the individual performers take a lot of "license" with, and perform whatever way they want.
                        Doctorindy.com

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                        • #13
                          I wish they'd get someone else to sing it. He was great in his best days but lately the voice cracking distracts from the emotion of the song. And trotting out the same people every year makes it seem to me they are trying to hang on to tradition rather then realizing the traditions can stand on their own.

                          Nabors still singing it is like when they used to trot out the elder Mrs. Hulman to say "start your engines" and she couldn't seem to hear. "Now?" Now. "Now!?" Yes now!

                          I'd like someone fromm Indiana to sing it although that wouldn't be crucial. I'll bet they could find some super talent if they held a competition.

                          I don't know when Nabors first sang it, only started at the race in 1975. I'd be interesting to know for sure.
                          Got to watch out for those Libertarians - they want to take over the government and leave everyone alone!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Coyote
                            I wish they'd get someone else to sing it.....I'd like someone fromm Indiana to sing it
                            Careful what you wish for, or you might end up with John Mellencamp, David Lee Roth, or Axl Rose-all Indiana boys...

                            I'm a fan of all three, don't get me wrong-I can kinda see Mellencamp pulling it off, but Diamond Dave? (Weeeee LOOOOVE yaaaaaa!!!!!-Looook at allll the people here to-DAAAY!....Back Home Agaaaaaaiiin, in Indiaaaaanaaaa-ooWOWWWW....") Or geez, Axl: "How I loooong for my Indiana hoooooome-YEEEEAAAAAAAHHHH!"
                            "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

                            "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Coyote
                              I wish they'd get someone else to sing it. He was great in his best days but lately the voice cracking distracts from the emotion of the song. And trotting out the same people every year makes it seem to me they are trying to hang on to tradition rather then realizing the traditions can stand on their own.

                              Nabors still singing it is like when they used to trot out the elder Mrs. Hulman to say "start your engines" and she couldn't seem to hear. "Now?" Now. "Now!?" Yes now!

                              I'd like someone fromm Indiana to sing it although that wouldn't be crucial. I'll bet they could find some super talent if they held a competition.

                              I don't know when Nabors first sang it, only started at the race in 1975. I'd be interesting to know for sure.
                              Still sounds great to me.

                              And the Motegi version was pretty cool....I got to hear it twice because the kids rehearsed the day before the race and our pit was pretty close to their stage setup.

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