Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sick Call: Doc Watson

Category:  News

Doc Watson backstage at the Grand Ole Opry in 1995.
c. 2012 K.F. Raizor
A rough year for country and roots music gets rougher.  The great Doc Watson is gravely ill.  Watson, 89, suffered a fall at his home in North Carolina.  An underlying condition was aggravated by the fall, resulting in Watson being admitted to a local hospital.  Shortly after the hospitalization he was airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.  On Thursday (5/24) Watson underwent surgery for an impacted colon, resulting in his entire colon being removed.  Reports earlier in the week also stated Watson was suffering from pneumonia.

Arthel "Doc" Watson is revered by fans of blues, folk and bluegrass music, as well as anyone who has ever picked up an acoustic guitar.  He has delighted audiences for decades, winning seven Grammy awards (most recently in 2006 for his collaboration on the Bryan Sutton album Not Too Far From the Tree) as well as the Grammy Lifetime Achievement in 2004.

Watson performed with his son, Merle, until a farming accident claimed Merle's life in 1985.  Watson started the Merle Watson Memorial Festival in his son's memory in 1987.  The name was soon shortened to "MerleFest" and, over the past quarter century, has become one of the biggest music festivals in America.

After being initially responsive Watson's condition took a turn for the worse today (5/27), prompting the hospital to call Watson's family to his bedside.

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