Guitar Picker Doc Watson Dies

Doc Watson dies following colon surgery

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Legendary  folk singer and guitarist, Doc Watson - who influenced guitar players in his genre and beyond - has died. His death follows abdominal surgery he underwent less than a week ago. Watson was 89.

Some have called the man "one of the most iconic American musicians of the 20th Century."

Never big on the Billboard charts, Watson was an iconic musician whose style included so-called "flat picking." He's credited with bringing the acoustic guitar up front to solo status in bluegrass and country music.

He won multiple Grammy awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

“He was a great and groundbreaking guitarist, but Doc was more than that,” said Wayne Martin, executive director of the North Carolina Arts Council. “He made musical traditions of Western North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains accessible to millions. His guitar was a powerful tool to get people’s attention, but I don’t think it was his greatest legacy.”

Watson had recently undergone surgery to take care of a blockage in his colon. And his body began to fail shortly afterwards.

“Different systems were failing the last few days,” said David Holt, Watson’s longtime sideman.

“But I got to say goodbye, even though he wasn’t conscious. Maybe he heard us."

Ashley Judd said on Twitter, "Aw, rest in peace, one of my all-time favorites, beloved Doc Watson."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 28, 2012
Last Updated:
August 28, 2012