The Spectacle Blog

“Doc” Watson, R.I.P.

By on 5.29.12 | 11:24PM

Guitar picking legend Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson has passed away of complications from abdominal surgery following a fall at his home. He was 89.

Blind from infancy, the North Carolina born Watson began playing guitar at the age of 11 but did not attain broad recognition until he was nearly 40 during the folk revival of the early 1960s. In the 1970s, his son Merle joined him. Sadly, Merle was killed in an accident on the family's farm in 1985. In tribute to his on, Watson hosted MerleFest, an annual gathering of "traditional plus" music including but not limited to folk, country, blues, bluegrass and Appalachian music.

This has been a bad couple of months for guitar pickers. First, Earl Scruggs passed away at the end of March. Then earlier this month Doug Dillard lost a lengthy battle with cancer.

I leave you with Doc & Merle flatpicking George Gershwin's "Summertime":

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