Wednesday, May 22

Will Jim Nabors Sing at Indianapolis (INDY) 500 2013?


Once again Indiana's adopted son Jim Nabors will return to sing in person, "Back Home Again in Indiana," for the 97th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26. Nabors was unable to visit his second favorite home due to illness last year, so he performed via video screens at Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the 2012 pre-race traditional festivities.

The Hoosier state's unofficial song being sung by Nabors has become a tradition for race fans and local residents alike. Nabors rendition became an instant favorite at the "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" since he performed it for the first time in 1972.

Nabors, known both for his singing career and his beloved character Gomer Pyle on television's "Andy Griffith Show," and, later, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," has performed the popular song - with thousands of race fans singing along in the grandstands - 33 times in person at IMS since 1972.

"I'm looking forward to coming home," Nabors said.

In case you need a reminder, here are the lyrics to “Back Home Again in Indiana.”

I have always been a wand'rer 
Over land and sea 
Yet a moonbeam on the water 
Casts a spell o'er me 
A vision fair I see 
Again I seem to be

Back home again in Indiana 
And it seems that I can see
The gleaming candlelight still shining (burning) bright 
Thro' the sycamores for me
The new mown hay sends all its fragrance 
From fields I used to roam

When I dream 
About the moonlight on the Wabash 
Then I long for my Indiana home

Fancy paints on mem'ry's canvas 
Scenes that we hold dear 
We recall them in days after 
Clearly they appear 
And often times I see 
A scene that's dear to me

Back home again in Indiana 
And it seems that I can see

The gleaming candlelight still shining (burning) bright 
Thro' the sycamores for me
The new mown hay sends all its fragrance 
From fields I used to roam

When I dream 
About the moonlight on the Wabash 
Then I long for my Indiana home

Indiana native Jon McLaughlin will sing "God Bless America," during pre-race ceremonies. Actress and entertainer Florence Henderson is unable to attend the race this year to perform the song due to illness.

Pop-rock singer-songwriter McLaughlin, a native of Anderson, Ind., has recorded four full-length albums since his self-titled debut in 2004. His latest album is "Promising Promises," was released in 2012 by Razor & Tie/Sony Records.

McLaughlin's song "So Close" was featured in the Disney film "Enchanted" and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2007 in the Best Original Song category. McLaughlin performed the song live at the 80th Academy Awards in February 2008.

"This is such an incredible honor for me to be a part of the '500' this year," McLaughlin said. "I'm excited to carry on such a great tradition and just hope I can do the moment justice!"

2013 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 97th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 26 at IMS. Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at www.ims.com/tickets, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Children 12 and under will receive free general admission to any IMS event in 2013 when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket holder.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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