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Doc Watson


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Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson (March 3, 1923, Deep Gap, North Carolina – May 29, 2012, Winston-Salem, North Carolina) was a guitar player, banjo player, songwriter and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel music.

Doc played guitar in both flatpicking and fingerpicking style, but was best known for his flatpick work. His virtuosity combined with his authenticity as a mountain musician made him a highly influential figure during the folk music revival. He pioneered the fast and flashy bluegrass lead guitar style which has been adopted and extended by others such as Clarence White and Tony Rice. He was also an accomplished banjo player and in the past had accompanied himself on harmonica as well.

In 1986 he received the North Carolina Award and in 2000 he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor. In 1997, Doc received the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton.

He was generally joined on stage by his grandson and Merle’s son Richard as well as his musical partner of twenty years, Jack Lawrence.

He was host to the annual MerleFest music festival held every April at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. The festival features a vast array of acoustic style music focusing on the folk, bluegrass, blues and old time music genres. It’s named in honor of Merle Watson and is one of the most popular acoustic music festivals in the world, drawing over 85,000 music fans each year.

In late May 2012, Watson was listed in critical condition but was responsive at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, after undergoing colon surgery.


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  • gebhardino

    Er steht ganz oben auf der Treppe. Sein Ton ist einmalig.

    17 Mar 2014 Reply
  • yerbyderby

    Der Wikipediaartikel ist veraltet. Er sollte aktualisiert werden. Ich habe ihn übrigens geschrieben.

    12 Feb 2014 Reply
  • yerbyderby

    What to say about Doc Watson. He was blind, but he managed his life sovereign. He was influenced by legendary Django Reinhardt. And he played a fantastic fingerpicking guitar. Have two Double LP`s from him. Rest in Peace, Doc. May you gratify the angels with your music.

    12 Feb 2014 Reply
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    11 Sep 2013 Reply
  • rchlwdnrbntly

    Great Uncle Arthel "DOC", I miss you so much. Wasnt ready to let you go so soon. Love and miss you. Thank you for the wisdom, memories and music. MISS YOU and Aunt RosaLee.

    17 May 2013 Reply
  • Liucija_S

    Bluegrass guitar God!

    8 Dec 2012 Reply
  • YurecOgurec

    Гитарист, который мотивирует учиться играть на гитаре. Спасибо за отличную музыку. RIP.

    29 Sep 2012 Reply
  • prescottscott

    #RIP, didn't know you were gone, Doc, thank you for all the music.

    25 Jun 2012 Reply
  • GarethSherry

    May you rest in peace Doc. I can't believe you've gone. Only just found out and I'm totally shocked. Gonna raise a glass of something strong in your honour tonight.

    7 Jun 2012 Reply
  • KeithJones

    RIP, Doc Watson

    4 Jun 2012 Reply
  • swordboy8861


    1 Jun 2012 Reply
  • muteoff

    It's a shame it took the news of his dying for me to finally listen to him. Really enjoyable stuff even for someone like me a few generations removed from him.

    1 Jun 2012 Reply
  • d1lll1nger

    Goodbye legend..thank you for your beautiful music.

    31 May 2012 Reply
  • CDPETE01

    One Artist I've known about for ever but never seemed to listen to,time to rectify ,RIP Doc.

    30 May 2012 Reply
  • Tag1955

    R.I.P Doc.I discovered him late but since he has been an integral part of my listening experience.He will be missed wherever music lovers gather.

    30 May 2012 Reply
  • Skathi

    RIP Doc. One of my favourites :( Sad day.

    30 May 2012 Reply
  • stasap

    These mountains wept last night; but today they glow with blue skies. Honoring the man who filled their valleys with music, and brought their people together as one. You will be greatly missed. Love and Peace to you and your family.

    30 May 2012 Reply
  • Drazba

    God Bless you Doc- best wishes to his family

    30 May 2012 Reply
  • ngkemp

    A TRUE legend passes...

    30 May 2012 Reply
  • baldonbald

    RIP Doc.

    30 May 2012 Reply
  • All 65 shouts

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