The world has lost a shining star. Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson, May 3, 1923-May 29, 2012.
I grew up listening to the flat-picking strains of Doc’s guitar and his plaintive mountain folk-music voice. That was before he acquired the label “folk artist.” After he became famous and was playing Carnegie Hall and other well-known venues all over the globe, he made it perfectly clear that he was not ashamed of playing on the streets of Boone, NC, with a tin cup at his side. His marvelous talent was the one thing he had to sell in order to support his young family. You see, Doc Watson was blind from infancy.
I had the good fortune to see and hear him in person several times over the years. The last time, when he was 83 years old, I was able to wait in line for a chance to speak with him. I introduced myself and told him I, too, was from Boone; and I thanked him for all the years he had entertained me. Ever the gentleman, he took my hand in his, kissed it, and then thanked me.
Rest in peace, Arthel “Doc” Watson. The angels are rejoicing!! And so is Merle.
I leave you with my favorite Doc Watson song. Click here.
Click here if you would like to learn more about this fascinating man and his long career.