© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Jack Fowler's Top Five Songs Ruined By Jim Nabors

The year-end countdown list from Tumbleweeds All the Way Down host Jack Fowler is always an interesting take on the annual feature. Here are his top five songs that were "ruined by actor and singer Jim Nabors." Enjoy.

1. Grace Chang - "Wo Yao Ni De Ai"

This jump blues song originally written for Louis Jordan was a hit for the Chinese singer and matinee idol during swinging Shanghai's "shi da qu" (songs of the times) wave of the 1950s. Jim Nabors' attempt to scat over the last verse was just one of the musical crimes on his 1963 album Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! Jim Nabors Sings the Blues.

2. Tower of Power - "So Very Hard to Go"

Despite what were undoubtedly the best of intentions, this slick and soulful 1973 torch song from the Oakland groovemasters should not have been included on Jim Nabors' Christmas Favorites.

3. Alvvays - "Marry Me, Archie"

My favorite song on the list, the Canadian band's soaring and cynical ode to modern love was butchered by Nabors during the roundly criticized 1965 episode of The Andy Griffith Show where Gomer sings to provide ambiance while Aunt Bee tries to seduce Floyd the Barber.

4. The Balfa Brothers - "La Parlez Nous a Boire"

Translated to "Let's Talk About Drinking," the 1967 French-language fiddle tune by the Louisiana family band seemed perfect for Nabors until he decided to trade French and fiddles for English and the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.


5. Sweet Emma - "I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None of My Jelly Roll"

For my money, the 1963 recording of Sweet Emma playing piano in Preservation Hall is the definitive version of this bawdy jazz classic. In 1976, Nabors' disco-infused interpretation got him booed off the stage of the Apollo Theater.

Stay Connected
Jack Fowler is an Oklahoma City-based painter of portraits, public art, custom sneakers, and contemporary western landscapes.
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.
Related Content