Web Analytics

Doc Watson Dead At 89

His flatpicking influenced guitarists around the world.

Courtesy Sugar Hill Records

Arthel "Doc" Watson, the blind folk musician whose mountain-rooted sound was embraced by generations and whose lightning-fast flatpicking influenced guitarists around the world, died Tuesday (May 29) at a North Carolina hospital, according to the Associated Press. He was 89.

Mr. Watson died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where he was hospitalized recently after falling at his home in Deep Gap, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He underwent abdominal surgery while in the hospital and had been in critical condition for several days. His family was called to his side over the weekend.

Mr. Watson won seven Grammy awards as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He performed with his son Merle for over 15 years until Merle's death in 1985, in an accident on the family farm. In 1988, Mr. Watson organized MerleFest, a folk music gathering in Wilkesboro, N.C., that has grown into one of the country's major folk festivals.

Don’t miss an issue! Subscribe to Nash Country Weekly.


More News

Tanya was impressed with Barrett Baber's rendition.
Five hours of “The Joey+Rory Show” to air with special features.
First snow of the season celebrated with collection of songs recorded this summer.
Miranda and Ashley Sing "Heart Like Mine" at City Winery on Nov. 20
Word of advice: Keep your cool at country concerts!