Watch Michael Stipe Sing Nat King Cole’s ‘Nature Boy’ at Jeremy Ayers’ Memorial

When Athens arts icon Jeremy Ayers died in October, it inspired an outpouring of tributes and remembrances from his friends, who described his kindness, generosity and abiding love of both people and the natural world.

Last month, a memorial for Ayers took place at the Morton Theatre downtown, where friends and family gathered to celebrate his life.

Among the attendees was R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe, who took to the Morton stage to sing “Nature Boy,” a song written by proto-hippie hero eden ahbez and made famous by Nat King Cole in the 1940s. 

Watch Stipe and producer Andy LeMaster perform the sparse, haunting tune in the video below, shot by filmmaker and former Athenian Lance Bangs:


  • AthFest is Canceled This Year as Coronavirus Spreads

    As the coronavirus continues to spread illness and unease throughout Georgia and the U.S., Athens suffers a significant cultural and economic blow as organizers have announced the cancellation of...
  • Five Acts to See at Ad·Verse Fest

    With an eclectic approach that mines the space between music, visual and performance art, Ad·verse Fest features an exciting, queer-centric lineup of scrappy newcomers and more road-tested acts, many...
  • Shane Parish & Sean Dail

    With the innovative North Carolina band Ahleuchatistas, guitarist Shane Parish pushed the boundaries of the early-’00s math-rock scene by incorporating international influences, as well as a healthy dose of...
  • Ruston Kelly, Valley Queen

    Specializing in a twangy, earnest brand of Americana he famously dubbed “dirt emo” in 2018, singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly made good on the term’s promise last year with the release...