Friday, October 23, 2009

Quick hits: Avetts to close out MerleFest and 'Mockingbird' actress dies in Highlands

Avett Brothers to close out MerleFest
The Avett Brothers announced via email last night that their only North Carolina performance of the first six months of 2010 (they're doing a New Year's Eve show in Asheville, of course) will be as the closing act of MerleFest on May 2nd (at around 3:30 p.m.)

"We have attended MerleFest, as fans and as performers, since 1994," says the Avetts. "There is not a finer or more welcoming music festival in the country. Those who make their way to Wilkes Community College for the event this year will find, as they would any year, a sincere and friendly place where the music is as colorful and beautiful as the North Carolina countryside that leads them there. MerleFest offers four days of absolute quality for the music-loving family. For us, in terms of performance, it is very much like coming home."

'To Kill a Mockinbird' actress dies in Highlands
"Actress Collin Wilcox-Paxton, who portrayed the false accuser in the movie classic 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' died of brain cancer just months after the diagnosis. She was 74," according to the AP.

"Her husband, Scott Paxton, confirmed Thursday that she died Oct. 14 in Highlands in the southwest part of the state. No funeral was held. Instead, the family held a service before her death.

" 'It's pretty special being at your own memorial,' said her husband of more than 30 years.

"She was diagnosed Aug. 11 with three brain tumors, he said.

"The actress played Mayella Ewell in the movie based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer-winning novel. Her role as the young white woman who accuses a black man of beating and raping her in her home was brief but memorable. ...

"Her roles in the 1990s included television series and movies that were filmed near her hometown in the North Carolina mountains. They included 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,' which director Clint Eastwood filmed in Savannah, Ga., and the inspirational TV series 'Christy,' about a teacher in the early 1900s in remote Appalachia. ..."

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