He received an award of the “Entertainer of the Year” from R.O.P.E awards in 2018. [8] That move ignited Watson's career when he played on his first recording, Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley's. He was elected to the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2000. Besides an increasingly heavy schedule of personal appearances, Watson also released a series of albums during the 1960s that displayed his fluid and precise flatpicking style and crisp, unadorned vocals. Death. He continued performing with Doc Watson at various venues until Doc’s death in 2012. [27][28][29], In April 2013, Open Records released a multi-disc collection of unreleased recordings by Doc Watson. On April 29, 2012, Watson performed with the Nashville Bluegrass Band on the Creekside Stage at MerleFest. The first song he learned to play on the guitar was "When Roses Bloom in Dixieland", first recorded by the Carter Family in 1930. Doc Watson, Legendary Acoustic Guitarist and Singer, Dies at Age 89, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team, CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Musicares Benefit. Bluegrass guitarist Eddy Merle Watson, son of country music star Doc Watson, was killed Wednesday when a tractor he was riding slipped down an embankment, overturned and … [34], Article on Doc Watson and other western NC guitar players Wayback Machine, American guitarist, songwriter and singer, This article is about the musician. Generation also known as The Greatest Generation. The band seldom had a fiddle player, but was often asked to play at square dances. Watson stated in an interview with American Songwriter that, "Jimmie Rodgers was the first man that I started to claim as my favorite. Doc Watson died on May 29, 2012, in Winston Salem, North Carolina due to complications from his abdominal surgery. Gene Watson’s induction into the Hall of Fame of Texas Country Music took place in 2002, and in 2013, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Houston Music. 71 in 1973) and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” (No. He performed with his son, guitarist Merle Watson, for over 15 years until Merle's death … Doc Watson died on May 29th, 2012 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, following complications from abdominal surgery. On May 21, 2012, Watson fell at his home. [13] In 1985, Merle died in a tractor accident on his family farm. Released in 1972, it featured such other country, folk and bluegrass luminaries as Roy Acuff, Mother Maybelle Carter, Jimmy Martin, Earl Scruggs and Merle Travis. [18] The festival has continued after his death. CMT and all related titles and logos are trademarks of Country Music Television, Inc. Grammy-Winning Musician Was a Major Player on. In 1988, three years after Merle Watson’s death, Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C., launched MerleFest to raise funds for a campus garden. His father told him that if he and his brother David chopped down all the small dead chestnut trees along the edge of their field, he could sell the wood to a tannery. Watson and Rosa Lee had two children – Eddy Merle (named after country music legends Eddy Arnold and Merle Travis) in 1949 and Nancy Ellen in 1951.[8]. Merle was widely recognized as one of the best flat-picking and slide guitarists of his generation. [16] Personal life and death. He lived in Deep Gap. [22] He is buried in the Merle and Doc Watson Memorial Cemetery, Deep Gap, Watauga County, North Carolina, with his wife and son. presumably in reference to the literary character Sherlock Holmes's sidekick Doctor Watson. They occasionally toured together across the country and in Europe. Counting collaborations and compilations, Watson released more than 60 albums and influenced other noted guitarists, including Norman Blake, Tony Rice, Dan Crary and Randy Scruggs. With the Nashville Bluegrass Band. He later transferred the technique to acoustic guitar, and playing fiddle tunes became part of his signature sound. Death of Doc Watson. Doc Watson - Biography. A fan in the crowd shouted "Call him Doc!" [23], In 2002, High Windy Audio released a multi-CD biographical album titled Legacy. The festival features a vast array of acoustic style music focusing on the folk, bluegrass, blues and old-time music genres. This generation experienced much of their youth during the Great Depression and rapid t… Watson was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010. 3. The collection features audio interviews with Watson interspersed with music, as well as a complete recording of a live performance at the Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville, North Carolina. Watson played guitar in both flatpicking and fingerpicking style, but is best known for his flatpick work. In 1963, Watson played the fabled Newport Folk Festival, and his son Merle joined his act the following year. For his album, see, Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, Blind But Now I See: The Biography of Music Legend Doc Watson, International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor, 1973 Best Ethnic Or Traditional Recording (Including Traditional Blues), 1974 Best Ethnic Or Traditional Recording, 1979 Best Country Instrumental Performance, 2006 Best Country Instrumental Performance, "Doc's Guitar - The Guitar of Doc Watson", "Fretbase, Doc Watson's first Martin Guitar", "R.I.P. You could hear the mountains of North Carolina in Doc Watson's music. We are yet to notice the deceased obituary details, all further details concerning this news will be updated upon confirmation. Among these were The Doc Watson Family (1963), Doc Watson & Son (1965) and Southbound (1966). 41 in Greenwich Village. Blinded by a vascular disease while still an infant, he nonetheless absorbed the songs and musical styles he heard from his family. According to Watson on his three-CD biographical recording Legacy, he got the nickname "Doc" during a live radio broadcast when the announcer remarked that his given name Arthel was odd and he needed an easy nickname. He was buried in Merle and Doc Watsons Memorial Cemetery in North Carolina with his wife and son. [14] He subsequently began to tour as a solo performer and appeared at universities and clubs like the Ash Grove in Los Angeles. The farewell party live performance . Watson played a Martin model D-18 guitar on his earliest recordings. The book also goes into detail on the life, supporting role and ultimate death of Merle Watson. Today "Doc" Watson is accompanied by Merle's son, Richard Eddy Watson. He was 89 years of age when he died. He was born Arthel Lane Watson and picked up the nickname "Doc" at the suggestion of an audience member at a radio broadcast when he was in his teens. Richard Watson was 48. Envisioned as a one-time event, it proved so popular that it has been staged every year since and now draws upwards of 80,000 ticket-buyers. Watson told one interviewer the first song he learned to play on the guitar was the Carter Family’s wistful “When the Roses Bloom Again in Dixieland.” Throughout his long career, he maintained a fondness for such Appalachian ballads, although his musical repertoire grew to extend well beyond that genre, eventually embracing blues, rockabilly (for which he played electric guitar) and country. presumably in reference to the literary character Sherlock Holmes's sidekick Doctor Watson. [7], An eye infection caused Doc Watson to lose his vision before his second birthday. Richard Watson, the grandson of musical icon, Doc Watson, and son of another great musician, the late Merle Watson, passed away on Monday evening at the age of 48. It always featured Doc Watson as its host and principal performer. March 3, 1923 - May 29, 2012 Raleigh, North Carolina | Age 89 Folk musician dies in NC hospital at 89. It was named in honor of Merle Watson and is one of the most popular acoustic music festivals in the world, drawing over 70,000 music fans each year. Multimedia. The name stuck. His guitar playing skills, combined with his authenticity as a mountain musician, made him a highly influential figure during the folk music revival. Merle Watson has a strong set of credentials for a young musician. [17] For the last few years, Doc had been playing a Dana Bourgeois dreadnought given to him by Ricky Skaggs for his 80th birthday. The decade was one of learning and exploration. “Corrina” – Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton, 2020. Watson had fallen early in the week. Watson was instrumental in developing the canon for 1960s folk musicians with his recordings of traditional tunes like Deep River Blues and Shady Grove; he didn't play just the music of the Appalachian Mountains. The book, titled Blind But Now I See: The Biography of Music Legend Doc Watson, features never before published content regarding Watson's life and career, gleaned from interviews with Watson's friends and collaborators, including Norman Blake, Sam Bush, members of the Seeger family, Michelle Shocked and many others. Watson performs here with his father-in-law, the renowned old-time fiddler Gaither Carlton. [6] He attended North Carolina's school for the visually impaired, the Governor Morehead School, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Watson's flatpicking skills and knowledge of traditional American music were highly regarded. [6] According to Watson on his three-CD biographical recording Legacy, he got the nickname "Doc" during a live radio broadcast when the announcer remarked that his given name Arthel was odd and he needed an easy nickname. Richard Watson Death / Obituary – It is with sadness as we learnt on October 7, 2020, that Richard Watson was pronounced dead leaving loved ones in great sadness. Watson did not break any bones, but an underlying condition prompted the surgery. He was not seriously injured in the fall, but an underlying medical condition prompted surgery on his colon. In 1991, Gallagher customized a personal cutaway guitar for Watson that he played until his death and which he referred to as "Donald" in honor of Gallagher guitar's second generation proprietor and builder, Don Gallagher. Also of pivotal importance for his career was his February 11, 1961 appearance at P.S. Watson bought a $10 Stella guitar from Sears Roebuck with his earnings, while his brother bought a new suit. As popular as ever, Doc and Merle began playing as a trio with T. Michael Coleman on bass guitar in 1974. Impressed by what he saw and heard, Rinzler booked Ashley’s band at gigs in New York City and Los Angeles. In 1968, Watson began a relationship with Gallagher Guitars when he started playing their G-50 model. A cause of death has not been released. The Farewell Party — Gene Watson Biography. Watson won his first Grammy in 1973 for best ethnic or traditional recording for the album Then and Now. [8], In a 1989 radio interview with Terry Gross on the Fresh Air show on National Public Radio, Watson explained how he got his first guitar. Doc Watson was a walking advertisement for Gallagher guitars during his performances, and Gallagher has gotten e-mails from as far away as France and Sweden reacting to Watson's death. His big break came in 1960, at the outset of the folk-music revival, when he was playing rhythm guitar in a group led by string-band pioneer Clarence Ashley. Tim Clodfelter/Winston-Salem Journal Richard Eddy Watson, the grandson of music legend Doc Watson and the son of Merle Watson, has died. The 1920s represented an era of change and growth. [10], Watson's earliest influences were country roots musicians and groups such as the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson (March 3, 1923 – May 29, 2012) was an American guitarist, songwriter, and singer of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, and gospel music. Doc Watson is part of G.I. [3][13] During his time with Jack Williams, Doc also supported his family as a piano tuner. Watson’s newest release is this live recording of some of his earliest shows in New York City, 1962 in Greenwich Village, when he was one of the rising stars of the budding folk revival. Portrait. He went on to be a vital part of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s historic Will the Circle Be Unbroken project. [30], In 1986, Watson received the North Carolina Award and in 1994 he received a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award. [2] Blind from a young age, he performed with his son, guitarist Merle Watson, for over 15 years until Merle's death in 1985 in an accident on the family farm. [24] The collection won the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album. In 1947, Doc married Rosa Lee Carlton, the daughter of popular fiddle player Gaither Carlton. Following the example of country guitarists Grady Martin and Hank Garland, Watson taught himself to play fiddle tunes on his Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. Doc Watson was born March 3, 1923 in what is now Deep Gap, N.C., in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Doc Watson; Read Our 2012 Interview", "Doc Watson, Blind Guitar Wizard Who Influenced Generations, Dies at 89", "INTERVIEW- Doc's orders: No heavy metal at MerleFest", "Doc Watson, folk music legend, dies at 89", "Doc Watson Bluegrass Legend Dies at 89 in Winston-Salem", "Folk Pioneer Doc Watson Dead at 89 | Music News", "Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson (1923–2012) – Find A Grave Memorial", "24-February-2013 Kent Gustavson interview on Outsight Radio Hours", "Interview: Author Dr. Kent Gustavson Discusses His Doc Watson Biography "Blind But Now I See, "Doc Watson's daughter, ETSU professor create box set of legendary guitar player", Collection of Doc Watson performances from the Florida Folklife Collection, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Doc_Watson&oldid=996645622, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners, United States National Medal of Arts recipients, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 December 2020, at 21:22. The collection, titled Milestones, features 94 songs as well as stories, remembrances, and over 500 photographs. Six more Grammys followed, the last one awarded in 2006. Born June 29, 1935, he was a son of the late James H. Watson and Elva Elizabeth Watson Stover. Watson also performed, accompanied by Holt and Richard, at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco in 2009, as he had done in several previous years. Notable deaths of 2010 (Michael Ochs Archives) 10 / 30. Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. CHRIS TALBOTT, The Associated Press. He was 89. [26] An updated edition was released by Sumach-Red Books in March 2012. Eddy Merle Watson (February 8, 1949 – October 23, 1985) was an American folk and bluegrass guitarist. A fan in the crowd shouted "Call him Doc!" Blind from a young age, he performed with his son, guitarist Merle Watson, for over 15 years until Merle’s death in 1985 in an accident on the family farm. 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