Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Remembering Doc

The following is a reprint/re-post of the blog from back in March when WUMB was celebrating Doc’s 89th birthday. Sadly, as you’ve probably heard, he will not make it to his 90th. Stay tuned all day for our ongoing musical tributes to the man who was one of the pre-eminent folk/country flatpicking geniuses of all time.

-My youngest brother is a worldly type; born and raised in the Midwest, schooled in the deep south, and found his calling here in New England, eventually leading to gainful employment in such exotic places as London, England and Luxemburg. Which, in turn, has opened many a door for him both travel-wise (he regularly drives from country to country) as well as land him, shall we say, many friends and girlfriends from afar.

-Long story short: my dear Mom was celebrating her 80th in Kentucky a few years back, and my aforementioned brother wanted to show off his (then) girlfriend from Yugoslavia. Pleasant and unassuming, I couldn’t help but notice that she insisted on parading around with a beat-up old boombox, listening to nothing but…Doc Watson! On cassette no less!

-Obvious point being…the man’s music is and always has been…universal! Knows no boundaries!

-You’ve no doubt heard the story…Folkways records his family & friends in 1960 after having played in various incarnations for 20 or so years, he debuts at Gerde’s in NY in late ’62, then on to Newport, his crowning achievement being his flatpicking contributions to the groundbreaking Will the Circle Be Unbroken in the early 70’s. Despite being middle age when he was ‘discovered’, Doc continues to be active to this day, hosting the annual MerleFest music festival in honor of his late (also very talented) son Merle.

-Doc passed away quietly yesterday (5/29) leaving behind an unparalleled catalogue of  musics of all genres; join us as we pay homage to a man who’s contributions have entertained us for 50+ years, not to mention all the years to come.