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Doc Watson
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    (March 3, 1923-May 29, 2012)
    Born in Deep Gap, North Carolina
    Birth name was Arthel Lane Watson
    Folk, bluegrass and country singer, songwriter and musician
    Played guitar, banjo and harmonica
    Known for his flatpicking style of playing guitar
    Recorded the albums 'Doc Watson' (1964), 'Doc Watson and Son' (1965), 'Home Again!' (1966), 'Ballads from Deep Gap' (1967), 'The Elementary Doctor Watson' (1972), 'Then and Now' (1973), 'Memories' (1975), 'Doc and the Boys' (1976), 'Live and Pickin' (1979), 'Pickin the Blues' (1985), 'Songs for Little Pickers' (1990), 'Docabilly' (1995), 'Third Generation Blues' (1999) and 'The Three Pickers' (with Earl Scruggs and Ricky Skaggs, 2003)
    The family cat was euthanized so its skin could be used to make the head of his first banjo.
    He was given the nickname 'Doc' during a radio show after the announcer said 'Arthel' was too odd a name.
    Until his recording career took off, he had to supplement his income by tuning pianos.
    He was playing in a rockabilly band when the folk revival took off and had to borrow an acoustic guitar for his first folk music recording.
    He went blind in infancy due to an eye infection.
    He said one of the proudest moments of his life was when he informed North Carolina's Services for the Blind that he no longer needed financial assistance.
    He was married to Rosa Lee Carlton for 65 years until his death.
    North Carolina's 'News and Observer' wrote, 'Watson plays guitar like Joe DiMaggio played baseball -- better than almost anyone ever has, but without calling undue attention to himself.'
    His son and frequent musical collaborator, Merle, died in a farming accident (1985).
    Bill Clinton, presenting him with the National Medal of the Arts (1997), said, 'There may not be a serious, committed baby boomer alive who didn't at some point in his or her life spend a few minutes at least trying to learn to pick a guitar like Doc Watson.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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