North Carolina folk artist Doc Watson dies at age 89
WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina, May 30 — Grammy-winning US folk musician Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson (picture) died yesterday in a North Carolina hospital at age 89, his management company said.
Watson died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in Winston-Salem, following abdominal surgery last week, Folklore Productions International said in a statement.
“Doc was a legendary performer who blended his traditional Appalachian musical roots with bluegrass, country, gospel and blues to create a unique style and an expansive repertoire,” the statement said. “He was a powerful singer and a tremendously influential picker who virtually invented the art of playing mountain fiddle tunes on the flattop guitar.”
Watson won seven Grammy Awards, in addition to the Grammy for lifetime achievement he received in 2004. He won most recently in 2006 in the category of best country instrumental performance for his playing on “Whiskey Before Breakfast.”
For much of his career, the Deep Gap, North Carolina, native toured and recorded with his son, Merle Watson. Doc Watson’s most popular recordings include the songs “Tom Dooley,” “Shady Grove” and “Rising Sun Blues.” — Reuters