This podcast is part of the series: BCRI Oral History
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Nims Gay moved to Birmingham with his parents, a homemaker and a railroad worker, soon after he was born in Calhoun County, Alabama in 1923. A member of the Parker High School Choir and, later, founder of a group called the Gay Harmoniers, Gay was a natural musician. He was also the first Black radio announcer for Birmingham station WJLD. When Fred Shuttlesworth and others formed the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) in 1956, Gay served as one of its founding choir directors. Professional choir musicians eventually took over directorship of the ACMHR Choir, but Gay remained active in the Civil Rights Movement. He retired from management at Blue Cross Blue Shield, the insurance company. Listen to Nims Gay tell about driving to Anniston in 1961 to transport Black and White "Freedom Riders" to Birmingham where they stayed in the homes of movement activists after their bus was burned by a mob of angry Whites.