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Tributes, Condolences Mount for Doc Watson PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 11:17

A steady stream of well-wishers stopped by the bronze of Doc Watson today, as the statue became more and more covered in flowers.  Many hugged, all took pictures, told stories, that as the sounds of Doc Watson could be heard above the traffic emanating from the Jones House. Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson, so named during a radio broadcast, passed away at 7:21 last night at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center after falling May 21st, transferred to the Winston-Salem hospital after his condition worsened.  The eight-time Grammy Award winner, National Medal of Arts honoree and recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship was 89. On the Wilkes Community College Campus, home of the Merlefest Music Festival, named for Doc’s son Merle, who died in 1985, the flags are at half-staff. Condolences are coming in from far and wide:

Governor Bev Perdue said, “Over his long and brilliant career, Doc Watson traveled the world playing the music he loved, but his heart never strayed far from his home in Deep Gap.” “Our state was fortunate to have such a worldwide ambassador of North Carolina’s culture and heritage. He will be missed.”

US Senator Kay Hagan said, “Doc Watson was a legend who made each of us in North Carolina proud,” said Hagan. “Through his famous flatpicking style and deep-rooted mountain sound, he gave the traditional music of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Western North Carolina a face to the world. Doc Watson helped preserve and shape North Carolina’s musical heritage and his influence will live on for years to come in those artists and individuals who were touched by his music. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and many close friends during this difficult time.”

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