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Posts Tagged ‘Doc Watson’

Died On This Date (June 1, 2015) Richard Watson / Guitarist; Grandson of Doc Watson

Posted by themusicsover on June 1, 2015

Richard Eddy Watson
DOB Unknown – June 1, 2015

Photo by Lonnie Webster

Photo by Lonnie Webster

Richard Watson was an accomplished guitarist who was born into American folk music royalty.  His father was the last Merle Watson, after whom the yearly MerleFest music festival is named, and his grandfather was the late great Doc Watson.   A regular fixture at MerleFest throughout the years, Richard joined countless acts on stage. He regularly performed with Doc as well, both at the festival and beyond, until Doc passed away in 2012.  In 1991, Richard produced Third Generation Blues by him and his grandfather for the Sugar Hill label.  Richard Watson was 49 when he passed away on June 1, 2015.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Died On This Date (December 29, 2012) Mike Auldridge / Dobro Legend

Posted by themusicsover on December 29, 2012

Mike Auldridge
December 30, 1938 – December 29, 2012

Mike-AuldridgeMike Auldridge was a much respected master of the resophonic guitar, or as it is more commonly known, the dobro.  Born in Washington, DC, Auldridge began playing the guitar at the age of 13.  He eventually transitioned to the dobro, but didn’t began playing music full-time until he was around 40, when the Washington Star-News closed its doors.  He had had been earning his living as a graphic artist for the paper.  In 1971, Auldridge c0-founded the Seldom Scene with a handful of musicians he jammed with each week.  The band, much to the chagrin of traditionalists, married bluegrass with jazz, folk, and rock.  By doing so, they were pioneers of progressive bluegrass, or what they called “acid grass,” which has been popularized by such jam bands as String Cheese Incident. As an in-demand session player, Auldridge played on records by Bill Monroe, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Doc Watson, Ralph Stanley, and many more.   During the ’90s, he played in Chesapeake with former members of the Seldom Scene.  Over the course of his career, Auldridge was awarded a Grammy as well as numerous other accolades, and in 2012, he was named a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellow.  Mike Auldridge was 73 when he died of cancer on December 29, 2012.

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Dobro / Blues and Bluegrass (Reissue) - Mike Auldridge

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Died On This Date (May 29, 2012) Doc Watson / Folk Music Icon

Posted by themusicsover on May 29, 2012

Arthel “Doc” Watson
March 2, 1923 – May 29, 2012

Doc Watson was an influential American singer, guitarist, and songwriter whose vast catalog of songs influenced several generations of folk, country, and bluegrass musicians.  Born in Deep Gap, North Carolina, Watson lost his eyesight before his first birthday due to an infection.  But that by no means stopped him from picking up whatever instrument was handed to him.  First it was the harmonica around age five, then the banjo at age 11, and ultimately, the guitar on which he mastered a style of flat-picking that the world had yet to hear and would seldom be matched since.  Although Watson was a popular draw wherever he played throughout the ’40s and ’50s, it wasn’t until the storied folk revival of the ’60s – when college kids took to the music like never before or since, that his popularity reached new heights.  Throughout his career, Watson received countless awards which included seven Grammys, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a National Medal Of Arts from President Bill Clinton.  In 1988, he launched Merlefest to honor his son and music partner, Merle Watson, who was killed in a tractor accident in 1985.  The Wilkesboro, North Carolina festival has grown to be one of the premier music gatherings in the United States with Watson playing host and sharing the stage with the likes of Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Earl Scruggs, Del McCoury, and Willie Nelson to name just a few.  The annual event draws an estimated 80,000 each year.  On May 29, 2012, Doc Watson passed away shortly following colon surgery.  He was 89.

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Died On This Date (September 12, 2012) Wade Mainer / The Grandfather Of Bluegrass

Posted by themusicsover on September 12, 2011

Wade Mainer
April 21, 1907 – September 12, 2011

At 104 years old, Wade Mainer was one of the last of bluegrass’ founding fathers.  He has been cited by no less than Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, and Bill Monroe as an influence on THEM.  Born and raised in the poverty of the Blue Ridge mountains, Mainer took up the banjo at local square dances where he’d pick up the bands’ instruments while they were on break in order to practice.  By the mid ’30s, he was making his first records as part of the Mountaineers.  Mainer left the group during the late ’30s and formed Sons of the Mountaineers which included Clyde Moody on guitar.  The group eventually signed to Bluebird Records who released their 1939 hit, “Sparkling Blue Eyes.”  During the late ’30s/early ’40s, Mainer cut some 165 records for RCA Victor – both solo and as part of other groups, making him one of the most prolific musicians of the era.  It should be noted that the Sons of the Mountaineers were instrumental in transitioning old-time music into bluegrass, and that Mainer’s unique two-finger style of banjo picking begat the technique of three-finger utilized in modern bluegrass.  In 1953, Mainer decided to retire from music in order to commit his life to Christianity.  He and his wife moved to Flint, Michigan where he spent the rest of his working life at General Motors.  He returned to music during the early ’60s when he was convinced to lend his skills to several gospel and religious themed records.  In 2008, Mainer celebrated his 101st birthday with a special concert.  Wade Mainer passed away peacefully on September 12, 2011.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.


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Died On This Date (February 20, 2011) Terry Clements / Guitarist For Gordon Lightfoot

Posted by themusicsover on February 20, 2011

Terry Clements
July 22, 1947 – February 20, 2011

Terry Clements is perhaps best remembered as the longtime guitarist for folk legend, Gordon Lightfoot.  He joined up with Lightfoot in 1970 and continued to play with him for some 40 years.   Clements was just five years old when he picked up the guitar, and over the years his playing would be influenced by the likes of Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs, and Dick Dale.  After high school, he served in the US Navy for a couple of years and then returned to his music career, first playing with Golden Sunflower while working as a session player for Lou Adler, and later joining forces with Lightfoot with whom he stayed until the final years of his life.  Terry Clements was 63 when he died on February 20, 2011.  The cause was attributed to a stroke he had recently suffered.

Thanks to Su, Erica, and Lisa for the assist.

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