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YouTube Gold: Doc Watson

An immensely influential artist from the mountains of North Carolina

Doc And Merle Watson Portrait
Doc Watson with son Merle

North Carolina has produced a lot of really great musicians. James Taylor, Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, Theloneus Monk, John Coltrane, Link Wray, Max Roach, George Clinton and Earl Scruggs among them.

You could go on for a long time. It’s an incredibly rich state,musically speaking.

One of the absolute greats is Doc Watson.

Born in Deep Gap in 1923, Watson lost his vision almost before he could walk. He learned to play guitar at an early age and within a few months of picking it up was performing on street corners.

He developed a picking style that has had an enormous influence on American music. Guys like Tony Rice picked up on it and incorporated it into their own music.

His son Merle was also a brilliant musician who died in 1985 in a farm accident. He wrote this song, Southbound, which his father plays and explains here.

Grandson Richard is also an outstanding guitarist. Watson recorded a brilliant version of The House of The Rising Sun with him that’s also worth your time.