Skip to comments.Doc Watson has died
Posted on 05/29/2012 5:12:20 PM PDT by doubleA
Breaking News: Grammy-winning folk musician Doc Watson died at 89 at a Winston-Salem hospital Tuesday evening, according to his manager and a hospital spokesman.
(Excerpt) Read more at wral.com ...
Thank you Doc for the memories.
R. I. P. Doc Watson
Sherlock is sad.
He’s gone back to the old home.
RIP DOC. THANK YOU! There is a pallet down on my floor for yunz if yunz need it.
Not familiar with the name...can anyone cite some of his more popular songs?
RIP Mr Watson, you were about the best
RIP Doc. I know you are with Merle now (his son). Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your music and the way your soul shone through it.
I can play some of his classics, pretty close to note-for-note. I just can’t do it as fast. Many flatpicking guitar heros stand on Doc’s shoulders.
Reunited with Merle.
“He had the nerve, and he had the blood...”
Thanks, Doc, RIP
Doc was the best damm flat picker ever in my book and one of my heroes. I’m glad I got to see him when I did because there won’t be any more chances on this earth.
Rest in peace Doc.
Doc Watson - I am a Pilgrim
Watson is best known for his stellar guitar picking style, but he sings a little too. (Oh, dear -- sang.)
God rest him, he was one of the last of the real old-timey musicians.
If you were aiming for Doc, you missed.
Tennessee Stud - Doc Watson and Jack Lawrence
I had the pleasure of seeing him perform at least a dozen times when I lived in Boone. Truly an artist.
Doc Watson at age 16 with one of his first guitars.
(Photo courtesy of David Holt)
God be with all of those who loved him.
Rest in peace.
He has albums with literally hundreds of folk songs and blue grass songs.
I was a Freshman at Appalachian State University when I first heard The Tennessee Stud by Doc. That song really takes me back.
Doc lived in Wilkesboro which was on the way to App on 421.
Who knows what kind of guitar he was playing?
This will take you a long ways around Lukey McCoy’s barn, but will give you a mini-taste of Doc Watson’s type of music:
Doc Watson collaborated with guitar-picking legend Merle Travis in the later years of their careers. Travis died in 1983, so Doc Watson has survived a long time since then.
For a quick window into their relationship and music, refer to an album produced by NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND in the 1970s, titled “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” The Dirt Band members were excellent musicians, and in addition to Rock ‘n Roll music, enjoyed, performed and were very good at Bluegrass. Their “Stars and Stripes Forever” album, which I once owned on 8-Track tape showcased the spectrum of their talents, from folk to rock to bluegrass, with several very humorous bits thrown in.
The multi-LP-disc “Circle” album included appearances by many Country & Bluegrass legends. “Mother” Maybelle Carter, Johnny Cash’s mother-in-law participated in a number or two and played her Hammer Dulcimer. One of the great Country fiddlers who never had much name recognition, Vassar Clements, was a mainstay on that album, as were Merle Travis and Doc Watson. Doc Watson held Merle Travis in such high regard that he named his son Merle after Travis. One standout number on the “Circle” album was when Doc and Merle joined in on a track of the C & W oldie, “DOWN YONDER.” According to narration on the album by either Doc or Merle, the song “Down Yonder” was originally recorded by a fun-sounding group by the name of “Gitt Tanner and the Skillet Lickers.”
I believe in the video that I posted earlier Doc said it was a Les Paul.
Doc Watson was one of America’s premier old-timey/country blues guitarists. He was most famed for preserving and enhancing our rich trove of traditional mountain music with his virtuoso performances of old songs. His Smithsonian Folkways recordings with Clarence Ashley are the Appalachian equivalent of the Great American Songbook.
down to the river
His "Orange Blossom Special" on the Circle album was purely spectacular.
This is the music of my youth . . .
He lost his vision before his first birthday, and the next thing he sees is God.
It’s been tough on bluegrass this year. First Earl then Doug Dillard and now Doc.
Thanks a million for that link. Can you tell me who the guys were accompanying Doc? I’m not sure, but they look suspiciously like Nitty Gritty Dirt Band members.
Oh! Crap! A great loss for the Musical Arts in America! I was praying that he’d pull through. I’m very sad. Black ribbon on my shirt for the next week,,,,,.... RIP Doc. You were my first guitar hero,,,,,....
I went to see Doc in his final concert tour last year. It was amazing to see and hear him perform at his age.
Most moving was his testimony of how during the past few years another musician came to see him and shared how he could know he was going to spend eternity in the presence of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Doc shared how he came to trust Christ as his Savior.
What a homecoming it will be with Doc on guitar!
Thanks for the link. That version of Black Mountain Rag is one of the tracks on the “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” album.
I probably shouldn’t admit this here but “Circle” was on my turntable for an entire summer in whe I was in Hogh School. I smoked more pot to that album that year just listening to the incredible musicianship embedded on those pieces of vinyl.
“Circle” is the one of only two albums I have in their entirety on my iTunes. The other is “Last Waltz”.
1923 Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson born in Stoney Fork Township, near Deep Gap, North Carolina, on March 3, 1923
1947 Doc marries Rosa Lee Carlton
1949 Son Eddy Merle Watson born (Named after Eddy Arnold and Merle Travis)
1951 Daughter Nancy Ellen Watson born
1953 Doc gets a job playing electric lead guitar in Jack Williams country and western swing band
1960 Doc is “discovered” when Ralph Rinzler meets him while in North Carolina to record Clarence “Tom” Ashley
1961 Doc, Gaither Carlton, Tom Ashley, Fred Price, and Clint Howard travel to New York to perform a concert sponsored by Friends of Old Time Music
1962 Doc’s first solo appearance, at Gerde’s Folk City
1964 Merle starts learning the guitar; in June he plays backup guitar for Doc at the Berkeley Folk Festival
1973 Doc receives his first Grammy award. This is followed by five more Grammys over the years
1985 Merle Watson dies tragically in a tractor accident on the night of October 23rd
1988 Doc is awarded the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts
1988 The first Merlefest is held in remembrance of Merle Watson
1997 Doc receives the the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton
2004 Doc is awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences at their 2004 Grammy Awards show
Mea culpa! It just dawned on me that I gave bad info in my previous reply. Maybelle Carter didn’t play the dulcimer; she played the Autoharp. In fact, she complained on the album that she had restrung her autoharp herself. And like a lot of “ideas” we get, that one turned into a nightmare, because of SO MANY strings on the instrument! She said she’d never tackle a job like THAT again.
But, you know, it's hard to sing that old music and not believe. Faith in Christ is in the bones and sinews of that music.
May the Lord keep you, Doc.
Rest in peace.
I was strolling one day in a lonely graveyard
When a voice from the tomb seemed to say
I once lived as you lived
walked and talked as you talk
But from earth I was soon called away
Oh those tombs (oh those tombs)
lonely tombs (lonely tombs)
Seemed to say in a low gentle tone
Oh how sweet (oh how sweet) is the rest (is the rest)
In our beautiful Heavenly home
Every voice from the tomb seemed to whisper and say
Living man you must soon follow me
And I thought as I looked on those cold marble slabs
What a dark lonely place that must be
Then I came to the place where my mother was laid
And in silence I stood by her tomb
And her voice seemed to say in a low gentle tone I am safe with my Savior at home...[Doc Watson]
An autoharp is a whole lot of trouble, my mother has one but I never really got into it.
I was wondering when you mentioned a hammer dulcimer and thought my memory was going or something. That is not really an old-timey instrument - at least not in the SE mountains where you would see plucked dulcimers w/ 3 or 4 strings. More of an upper-tier-state instrument i.e. New York, Pennsylvania and points west -- mostly where the Germans and Eastern Europeans were). It didn't catch on in the folk-music world here until relatively recently.
LOL! The statute of limitation has run, and you’re not running for president :-)
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