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May 31, 2012  | by: Takiyah Tanner

Folk Artist Doc Watson

Legendary Folk artist Arthel Lane Watson, infamously known as Doc Watson, passed away on May 29, 2012 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the age of 89 due to complications from abdominal surgery, according to Rolling Stone NewsWatson will be remembered as an influential musical figure whose talent will always be admired and appraised by musicians and entertainers who cherish his works of music.

Born on March 3, 1923 in Deep Gap, North Carolina, Watson was well known for the musical skills he enhanced by using a guitar, which he was able to play in both the fingerpicking and flatpicking styles even as a young child. Although this gifted musician became blind at one year of age, he always valued music and became very much interested in composing his own music using the guitar as his primary source of rhythm. Watson recorded music in a variety of different genres such as Blues, Country, Folk and Gospel to captivate a diverse audience.

Watson was a multiple time Grammy-winning artist, taking home the awards for Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording Award of 1973, Best Traditional Folk Album of 2002, and Best Country Instrumental Performance of 2006.

In Boone, North Carolina, a sculpture of Doc Watson holding a guitar has been built for fans to visit. Its plaque reads “Just one of the People.”

Doc Watson Statue in Boone, NC

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