Doc Watson


Doc Watson was born in Deep Gap, North Carolina , March 3, 1923 . As he explains on the CD triple biographical Legacy, he got the nickname Doc when recording in public radio when the announcer remarked that his given name Arthel was odd and he would have preferred an easier nickname. A fan shouted ” Call him Doc ! ” Certainly refers to the right arm of Sherlock Holmes , Dr. Watson. The nickname stuck.

An eye infection caused him to lose sight when he was not a year. His parents forced him to work hard to become independent. He was accepted into the school for the visually impaired in North Carolina , the Governor Morehead School in Raleigh NC.

The first song he learned was When Roses Bloom in Dixieland . His father was so proud that he took the young Arthel buy his first guitar, a Stella $ 12 . Doc proved to be naturally gifted , and within months he found himself in a corner to play songs Delmore , Louvin and Monroe Brothers’ duets alongside his brother Linny . Reached his majority, he was a prolific guitarist, both qu’électrique1 acoustic guitar.

In 1953 , Doc joined Johnson City , Tennessee , where was Jack Williams ‘ country and western swing band that accompanied him to the electric guitar. He earned his living by exercising the profession of piano tuner .

In 1960 , while folk music exploded , Doc listened to the musicologist Ralph Rinzler opinion and began playing only acoustic guitar and banjo. This change allowed the career Doc explode when he released his first album Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley’s . It was at this period that he began his solo tour in popular clubs that have marked the folk and he got very good reviews for his performance at the renowned Newport Folk Festival in 1963. He began playing with his son Merle in 1964 and the duo lasted until 1985 when Merle was killed in a tractor accident .

At the end of the folk boom in the late 1960s, Doc ‘s career was saved by his performance at Tennessee Stud Album Live 1972 Will the Circle Be Unbroken . More popular than ever , Doc and Merle began playing in a trio with T. Michael Coleman on bass, in 1974. The trio toured the globe in the late 1970s and early 1980s , recording nearly fifteen albums between 1973 and 1985 , providing millions of new fans blends unique docking Doc and Merle.

Doc uses two styles of guitar, flatpicking and fingerpicking , but it is best known for his use of the flatpick . His playing combined with his authenticity made ​​him an iconic figure in the revival of folk music. It is the precursor of fast and flashy style bluegrass, adopted and extended by many others , such as Clarence White and Tony Rice. He is also an accomplished banjo player and is sometimes accompanied pretty good harmonica .

Doc played in his first recordings on a model D-18 Martin . In 1968 , he changed to Gallagher Guitars and model G-50 . His first guitar Gallagher, Doc called Old Hoss is visible at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1974, Gallagher created a customized line of the G-50 based on the preferred specifications of Doc. This Gallagher named Doc Watson. In 1991, Gallagher creates a cutaway especially for Doc , with whom he recently played and he nicknamed Donald tribute to Don Gallagher, the second owner of Gallagher.

Also known for its rich and distinctive baritone voice , he through the years developed a vast repertoire of mountain ballads , learned by oral tradition of the area where he lives, Deep Gap, North Carolina . His affable manners, his humility and his natural charming wit have endeared him to his fans as much as his musical talent .

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

Recently, Doc has reduced the number of rounds, but it continues to play in various shows in the United States for its audience. From 2007, he was joined on stage by his grand- son (son of Merle ) Richard , as well as its longstanding partners David Holt or Jack Lawrence . More recently, on June 19 , he was accompanied by the ” guitar legend ” Australian Tommy Emmanuel at the Bass Performance Hall.

It is host to the annual MerleFest in April at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro ( North Carolina ) . The festival features a wide range of acoustic music focused on folk, bluegrass , blues and old musical genres. The festival named in memory of Merle Watson is one of the most popular in the world , accommodating up to 85,000 fans each year.

He died 29 May 2012 to 89 years in hospital Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston -Salem, North Carolina , where he had been hospitalized for surgery of côlon .