While filming a music video in the Mayberry Courthouse on Main Street on Friday, singer Beth Spangler crossed her legs and rested her ’80s-inspired strappy high-top stiletto-clad heels on Sheriff Andy Taylor’s iconic desk.
“Maybe I should put my feet up here,” she said to the director.
“That’s how Andy did it,” piped in Jessica Johnson, Mount Airy Visitors Center assistant marketing director, who organized the shoot.
A new sheriff had indeed come to town.
Spangler is a lifelong musician who gained national exposure as a top 32 finalist in season seven of NBC’s television series “The Voice.” She approached the visitors center with a request to film a video in Mayberry a week ago.
“We are becoming a destination for these types of requests,” said Jessica Icenhour-Roberts, marketing director for the visitor center.
The singer from Aiken, South Carolina, is touring to promote her debut EP titled “Audio Selfie,” which was released in May 2015.
She will release a full-length album in 2016.
In the meantime, she covered the song “If It Hadn’t Been For Love,” which was co-written by country musicians Chris Stapleton and Mike Henderson while they were members of the band SteelDrivers.
Pop singer Adele released her version of the tune as a bonus track on the U.K. version of her album “21” and a live album.
“Mom and I used to sing it in the car all the time,” Spangler said in an interview after the shoot.
“I wanted to do a fun cover,” she said. “Right now I’m working on more involved videos for my original music for my EP that I released. In the meantime I wanted to have something for my fans, my friends and family. I just wanted to continue to put out content.”
The song is written from the point of view of someone who winds up behind bars after killing her lover.
“Initially I never intended to do a video,” Spangler explained. “But because I wanted it stripped down, change it up a little bit, do that acoustic sound, that acoustic vibe, I wondered if it would make a little bit more sense with a visual.”
Like a jail.
“Immediately I thought of coming to Mount Airy and using Mayberry,” said Spangler, who had vacationed in the area with a friend several years ago.
“I just thought all the pieces were here and it would be a really fun environment,” Spangler said.
The video will be published on YouTube and promoted through social media.
“Hopefully people will really like it and it will get a lot of views,” Spangler said.
“We had to make it happen,” Johnson said. “We’re just happy she remembered our city.”
Working with director and videographer Joshua Casher, of Charlotte’s BNR Studios, Spangler spent a playful couple of hours in and around the vintage courthouse on Friday, singing along to a recorded version of the song.
“I think the contrast of that warmth and that innocence of this place, and then bringing in a character that’s a little bit more dark and eerie and unpredictable, it just created a very interesting vibe with a lot of texture,” Spangler said, noting that most videos take eight to 10 hours and involve a lot more moving parts.
“What was wonderful about this experience today was everything is right here, the things we didn’t have, Jessica and everybody else here have been truly incredible to give us access to or have at our fingertips, which we really did not have in any of my other videos,” she said.
“We didn’t have the dream team behind me, lining everything up and making it incredibly easy.”
Casher noted that when he thought a classic car would be a good addition to the set, “someone made a phone call, and someone showed up with a hot rod.”
“It’s great,” he said. “Very accommodating.”
Local squad car tour guide Don Bunn was pulled in for a cameo appearance in the video, as was Tamera Miles, who owns The Fruit Basket, a business that operates out of Wally’s Service Station. She admitted the experience was “a little weird.”
“I’m not used to that,” said Miles, adding “I enjoyed it. They’re all real friendly.”
After the shoot, Spangler toured WPAQ radio station and took some time to experience some of the local color that had drawn her here.
The folks at Down Home Restaurant on West Pine Street, where Spangler ate lunch, whipped her up a special strawberry sonker to try.
“I hear you can’t come here to Mount Airy or to Mayberry without having a sonker, and last time I did,” she said. “So this time I will not leave without a sonker.”
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.