Doc Watson and Merle Watson
When Doc Watson was growing up blind in Deep Gap, North Carolina it probably seemed unlikely that he would grow up to become a legendary bluegrass figure, winning multiple Grammys and a National Medal of the Arts. But that's been the fate for the prolific virtuosity of Doc Watson. Born in 1923 and losing his eyesight before his first birthday, Doc was given a harmonica every Christmas growing up and received a homemade fretless bango at age 10 from his father. At 13, Doc began playing guitar. It quickly became apparent that he was a finger-picking virtuoso, and his talents quickly garnered him accolades.
Doc Watson quickly became was hot on the bluegrass circuit, playing on radio programs and publicly around North Carolina and beyond. In 1964, Doc and his son Merle began playing together, and they survived the fallout of the folk boom, retaining their loyal fan base. When Merle died in a tragic farm accident in 1985, Doc stopped performing for a while but made a comeback alongside two old friends and collaborators. Now in his 80s, Watson continues to perform and record, and he hosts the annual MerleFest held in Wilkesboro, NC, one of the most popular acoustic festivals in the world.
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