Home / Biography / Doc Watson

Doc Watson

Biography

Within the latter half of the 20th century there have been three pre-eminently influential folk/country guitarists: Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Arthel “Doc” Watson, a flat-picking genius from Deep Gap, NEW YORK. Unlike another two, Watson is at middle age group before attaining any interest. After 1960, though, when Watson was documented with his relatives and buddies in Folkways’ Aged Period Music at Clarence Ashley’s, people continued to be in awe of the gentle blind guy who sang and selected with a 100 % pure and psychological authenticity. Today’s era, folkies and nation pickers as well, including Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, the later Clarence Light, Emmylou Harris, and actually a huge selection of others, recognize their great debts to Watson. Watson supplied a further program to folk/nation by his encyclopedic understanding of many American traditional music. While Travis and Atkins began on acoustic guitars and transferred to electrical, before Watson’s “breakthrough” through the folk revival in the first ’60s, he performed electric in an area all-purpose music group that performed current rock, golf swing, nation, and undoubtedly folk music. He obtained recognition gradually, initial in the Clarence Ashley record, which resulted in a rave functionality on the Newport Folk Celebration in 1963. Folkways shortly recorded an record of Watson, implemented in 1964 by way of a group of albums by Vanguard, almost one per year through the 10 years. No sooner acquired curiosity about folk music waned than Watson was back great demand due to the three-disc Will the Group Become Unbroken, a watershed recording in 1972 that was made with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Music group. It highlighted Watson, Travis, Roy Acuff, along with a who’s who of nation greats. Merle, Watson’s kid along with a skill in his very own right, began showing up with his dad regularly. The effect was sufficient to allow them to win two Grammys for traditional music, in 1973 and 1974. Dad and son performed beautiful music jointly for over 15 years, until Merle passed away tragically over the family members plantation in 1985. Pursuing his son’s loss of life, Doc continued along with his performances, showcasing his gorgeous tone of voice, his great instrumental skill, and his mastery of traditional materials. He was an American treasure. Early in his youth in Deep Difference, Watson was struck by a sickness that limited the blood circulation to his eye, leading to his blindness young. As a kid, he was encircled by music and was presented with a fresh harmonica every Xmas. When he was ten, his dad provided him a homemade fretless banjo, which Doc performed consistently for another 3 years. Around once he found the banjo, Watson started attending the institution for the Blind in Raleigh, NEW YORK. At age 13, Doc started playing electric guitar after being presented to the device by his cousin. Half a year after getting his acoustic guitar, Doc and his old brother Linney started busking on road corners, performing traditional amounts. By his past due teens, Watson got learned how exactly to fingerpick from his neighbor Olin Miller. In 1941, Watson became a member of a music group that had a normal radio system in Lenoir, NEW YORK. It was as of this display that he gained his nickname, once among the announcers described the guitarist as “Doc” through the broadcast. For another six years he performed around NEW YORK. In 1947, he wedded Rosa Lee Carlton, the girl of fiddler Gaither W. Carlton. Though his father-in-law trained him several traditional tracks, Doc didn’t play any traditional materials publicly through the ’40s, preferring to focus on nation instead; to settle the bills, he also worked well like a piano tuner. Watson became a member of the supporting music group of an area pianist and railroad employee named Jack port Williams in 1953. With Williams, Doc performed guitar and performed a number of music, from nation to rock and roll and pop. After sticking to Jack port for eight years, Watson became a member of the Clarence Ashley String Music group and traveled using the group to NY to be able to appear in a Close friends of Old-Time Music concert. His functionality on the concert was a resounding achievement, and he was asked to execute at Gerde’s Folk Town in Greenwich Community. The invitation to execute in NY was a sign which the folk growth of the first ’60s was starting to gain momentum, and Doc became among the main benefactors from the revival. Youthful college students started to follow his music and he quickly switched to classical guitar within the suggestions of Ralph Rinzler. During 1961, Watson produced his documenting debut on Clarence Ashley’s Aged Period Music at Clarence Ashley’s, a efficiency which gained him substantial acclaim. 2 yrs later, his single spot in the Newport Folk Event stole the display; that same yr he released his first single recording, Doc Watson & Family members. In 1964, Doc started offering concerts associated with his kid Merle on second electric guitar. In the future, Doc and Merle had been constant collaborators and something of the very most well-known performers over the folk and traditional music circuit. Even though the folk increase from the ’60s passed away down toward the finish from the 10 years, Watson maintained his audience, so when he was spotlighted over the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s discovery 1972 record Will the Group End up being Unbroken, he gained another era of new supporters. In 1974, his record Then and today earned the Grammy for Greatest Cultural or Traditional Documenting; the following yr, he and Merle got home exactly the same prize because of their Two Times in November. Doc and Merle continuing to execute and record effectively through the early ’80s, offering numerous effective concerts every year and gaining many honours, including another Grammy in 1979 (Greatest Country Instrumental Functionality for “Big Sandy”/”Natural leather Britches”). In 1985, Merle tragically passed away within a tractor incident on his house farm. Pursuing his son’s loss of life, Doc stopped executing for a short while, yet he enjoyed a resurgence backed by guitarist Jack port Lawrence and bassist T. Michael Coleman, who got used Watson since 1974. Through the entire ’80s and ’90s, Doc continuing to execute and record to enthusiastic viewers. During that period he earned two even more Grammys — Greatest Traditional Folk Documenting for both 1986’s Using the Midnight Teach and 1990’s On Praying Floor — and a North Carolina Honor in Good Arts. Home Lovely Home adopted in 1998 and Third Era Blues in 1999. Doc Watson continuing with occasional carrying out and recording in to the 21st hundred years; he passed away in-may 2012 following procedure at a medical center in Winston-Salem, NEW YORK, at 89 years.

Quick Facts


Full Name Doc Watson
Date Of Birth March 3, 1923
Died May 29, 2012, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Profession Guitarist, Songwriter, Singer-songwriter
Education Appalachian State University
Nationality American
Spouse Rosa Lee Carlton
Children Merle Watson, Nancy Watson
Parents General Dixon Watson, Annie Greene
Siblings Ottis W. Watson, Russeau Watson, Arnold R. Watson, Jewel Louise Watson, David Watson, Ethel Watson Thomas, Ruby Watson, Linney G. Watson
Awards Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance, List of recipients of the National Medal of Arts, Grammy Hall of Fame, Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording
Music Songs Shady Grove, Deep River Blues, Sitting on Top of the World, Doc's Guitar, Little Sadie, Walk on Boy, Riddle Song, Down in the Valley to Pray, Blue Railroad Train, The Train That Carried My Girl From Town, Beaumont Rag, Windy and Warm, Freight Train Boogie, Matty Groves, Tennessee Stud, Banks of the Ohio, Tom Dooley, Sing Song Kitty, Mama Don't Allow No Music, Intoxicated Rat, Georgie Buck, Country Blues, Rambling Hobo, Your Lone Journey, Greenville Trestle High, Crawdad Hole, Wake Up, Little Maggie, Call of the Road, Way Downtown, Streamline Cannonball, Going Down the Road Feeling Bad, Crawdad Song
Albums Doc Watson & Son, Red Rocking Chair, Old-Timey Concert, Third Generation Blues, Reflections, Lonesome Road, The Elementary Doctor Watson!, Songs for Little Pickers, Docabilly, Riding the Midnight Train, Doc and the Boys, Doc Watson on Stage, Strictly Instrumental, Ballads from Deep Gap, Home Again!, Doc Watson, Mac, Doc & Del, Round the Table Again, Memories, On Praying Ground, My Dear Old Southern Home, Doc Watson in Nashville: Good Deal!, Then and Now, Portrait, Tradition, Black Mountain Rag, The Watson Family, The Three Pickers, The Vanguard Years, The Essential Doc Watson, Southbound, Pickin' the Blues, Live and Pickin', Look Away!, Down South, Doc and Merle Watson's Guitar Album, Live at Purdue University, At Folk City, Live Duet Recordings 1963-1980: Off the Record, Volume 2, Live In Watsonville, The Bottom Line Archive Series: (2002), The Legendary Doc Watson, The Lost Tapes of Doc Watson, Midnight On The Stormy Deep, Live From Chicago, March, 1964: Vol. 1, Corn Likker Blues, At Gerdes Folk City, Little Stream of Whiskey, Doc Watson Live In San Francisco 1964, Out In The Country, Original Folkways Recordings: 1960–1962
Nominations Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals
Movies The Cooler, The Three Pickers, Doc Watson & David Grisman: In Concert, Doc & Merle Watson in Concert, Doc Watson: Rare Performances 1963-1981, Stanley Brothers and Doc Watson: Rainbow Quest, Legends of Flatpicking Guitar, Legends of Traditional Fingerstyle Guitar, Merlefest Live: 15th Anniversary Jam, Traditional Music Classics, Petey Wheatstraw


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 Watson picked up the nickname "Doc" at the suggestion of an audience member at a radio broadcast when he was in his teens.
2 He was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 1997 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington D.C.
3 He is a bluegrass guitarist and musician.
4 Father of Merle Watson.


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Preacher 2016 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Guitar Man 2015/I Documentary writer: "Call of the Road"
Infinitely Polar Bear 2014 lyrics: "Your Long Journey" / music: "Your Long Journey"
Passion & Poetry: Sam's Trucker Movie 2013 Documentary performer: "Keep on the Sunny Side of Life"
The Guilt Trip 2012 performer: "Down Yonder" / writer: "Down Yonder"
Walk on Boy 2012 Short performer: "Walk on Boy"
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 2010 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Late Show with David Letterman 2010 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Independent Lens 2006 TV Series documentary arranger - 1 episode
Chrystal 2004 arranger: "COO COO BIRD" / performer: "COO COO BIRD"
Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus 2003 Documentary performer: "Coo Coo Bird"
The Grave 1996 arranger: "My Little Woman, Youre So Sweet"
Nothing But Trouble 1991 performer: "Wabash Cannonball"
Convoy 1978 performer: "Keep on the Sunny Side"

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Cooler 2003 Morrie
Disco Godfather 1979 District Councilman

Music Department

Music Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Operation Repo: The Movie 2009 composer: theme music

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Porchlight Sessions 2016 Documentary
Primal Twang: The Legacy of the Guitar 2009 Video documentary Himself
Great Performances 2003 TV Series Himself - Guitar and Vocals
Banjoman 1975 Documentary
Earl Scruggs: The Bluegrass Legend - Family & Friends 1972 TV Movie documentary Himself - Performer
The David Frost Show 1970 TV Series Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards 2013 TV Special Himself - In Memoriam

Looks like we don't have awards information. Sorry!



Looks like we don't have salary information. Sorry!



Looks like we don't have quotes information. Sorry!



Looks like we don't have trademarks information. Sorry!



Looks like we don't have pictures. Sorry!

Check Also

Joe Weaver

Pianist Joe Weaver was an essential link between your gritty R&B of postwar Detroit as …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *