Personalities | Doc Watson | Bluegrass | Country
(Vocals, guitar, b. 1923)
Arthel ‘Doc’ Watson was a blind, 37-year farm worker who was playing old-time country and rockabilly on weekends when folklorist Ralph Rinzler came across him in the North Carolina mountains in 1960. Recognizing Watson as one of the most dazzling guitar virtuosos of his generation, Rinzler soon convinced him to perform and record as a solo acoustic guitarist. Since the early 1960s, he has toured and recorded continually, winning five Grammy Awards. His son Merle Watson (guitar, 1949–85) was his partner from 1965 until his tragic death. Doc carried on his career, founding an annual acoustic-music festival in North Carolina that he named Merlefest after his son.
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