BRISTOL, Tenn.-Va. (Oct. 18, 2023) – It’s double the fun in Bristol as the Birthplace of Country Music Museum hosts the two-time, GRAMMY Award winning duo of Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer for a music and joy-filled weekend of interactive programs and events Oct. 28 and 29. The master musicians will regale visitors with songs, yodeling – and rope tricks! – during Community Day on Saturday at the museum. On Sunday Fink and Marxer join us in the Walnut Willow Spruce Classroom on the first floor of Bristol Regional Medical Center for a Q&A session following the film screening of their stage show “All Wigged Out: The Musical,” a heartwarming and hilarious comedy that follows Marxer’s personal breast cancer journey. Special thanks are due to Ballad Health for helping facilitate this opportunity.
“Over the past two years the museum staff have worked with Cathy Fink on our ‘I’ve Endured: Women in Old-Time Music‘ exhibit, and so when the opportunity arose to share this wonderful musical perspective on the cancer journey, we jumped at it!” said Dr. Rene Rodgers, head curator at the museum. “Being able to bring this screening to our community also means a lot to me personally because my mother battled two cancers before passing away earlier this year.”
With careers spanning over 35 years, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer’s superb harmonies are backed by instrumental virtuosity on the guitar, five-string banjo, ukulele, mandolin, cello-banjo, and more. Their repertoire ranges from classic country to western swing, gypsy jazz to bluegrass, and old-time string band to contemporary folk (including some original gems). The duo has performed at hundreds of bluegrass and folk festivals and taught close to 100 music camps internationally, with a student roster that includes Kaki King and Rhiannon Giddens.
From comparing her cancer journey to being dragged through a car wash while playing the musical washboard, to dealing with everyone’s “Unsolicited Advice” to showing the ridiculous “My Chemo Bag” given to her at the hospital, Marxer sticks to the truth of her situation in “All Wigged Out: The Musical” while also finding humor in many moments.
“Every time we screen ‘All Wigged Out’ there are good outcomes,” said Marxer. “Women are reminded to get their mammograms, men find out what really happens in a mammogram, and it’s a fun way to share the patient power you can take on in challenging medical situations – all wrapped up in comedy, music, and theater.”
To take part in the screening, participants are asked to RSVP for the event through the Events page at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org. Both events are free and open to the public; donations are encouraged for the film screening with all donations supporting Ballad’s Cancer Center Foundation – Patience Assistance Fund.
On Community Day, families are encouraged to also take part in Pumpkin Palooza, downtown trick-or-treating, and costume contest events on Saturday morning, plus Bristol’s inaugural Halloween Parade on State Street later that day. Further details about these can be found on Believe in Bristol’s site.
The weekend’s schedule of events are as follows:
Saturday, Oct. 28
- 9 a.m.: Pumpkin Palooza, The Downtown Center at 801 State Street
- 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Trick-or-Treating, State Street
- 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Community Day at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, 101 Country Music Way
- 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Instrument petting zoo with Bailey George & Jukebox Jess
- 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Spooky Appalachian Story Time, exploring a new book each half hour
- 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Busking with our friendly bluegrass jammers throughout the day
- 12:30 p.m.: Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer’s singing, yodeling and rope tricks
- 3 p.m.: Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer’s singing, yodeling and rope tricks
- 6 p.m.:: Halloween Parade, State Street
Sunday, Oct. 29
- 2:30 p.m.: “All Wigged Out: The Musical” Film Screening
- 3:30 p.m.:: Q&A with Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
For more information on Historic Downtown Bristol’s Halloween programming, visit BelieveInBristol.org. For more information about Community Day and “All Wigged Out: The Musical,” visit the Events pages at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.