Doc Watson Dies at 89 in North Carolina

May 30, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Epoch Times Photo
Doc Watson performs in the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course on May 1, 2009 in New Orleans. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Guitar legend Doc Watson died at age 89 on Tuesday in a North Carolina hospital following a colon surgery last week, his management company Folklore Productions said.

Watson had been in Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s intensive care unit prior to his death. His family was called to his bedside on Sunday after Watson “had a difficult day.”

Blinded since infancy, Watson was born in Deep Gap, N.C. on March 3, 1923, into a family rich in music tradition. Watson was a legendary singer and guitarist who blended his traditional Appalachian musical roots with country, gospel, bluegrass, and blues.

Watson had garnered seven Grammy awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011, a life-size statue was unveiled in Boone, N.C. on the same spot where the Watson had played for tips to support his family decades ago.

Folklore Productions said a private funeral will take place with details pending.

He is survived by his wife of almost sixty-six years, Rosa Lee Carlton Watson, and their daughter Nancy Ellen.

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