The traditional song has been performed every year since 1972, with few exceptions, by one Jim Nabors – the performer who first came to the spotlight for playing Gomer Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show. But as we pointed out back in March, Jim's calling it quits at 83. And as our compatriots over at AutoWeek report, his mantle will now be assumed by a group called Straight No Chaser.
The group was formed back in 1996 at IU but has since gone pro, signing a five-album deal with Atlantic Records in 2008 on the back of the popularity of their performance of "The 12 Days of Christmas," the video of which has been viewed on YouTube over 18 million times.
We're looking forward to watching the group carrying on the proud Indiana tradition, as we're sure is Nabors – to whom we wish long life and the pride in knowing his legend is secure in the annals of American motor racing history for having played his part in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Watch Nabors' first and last performances of the traditional song in the videos below.