(1:12:54; 68MB; D96-33)
Recorded on May 25, 1996 by the Florida Folklife Program at the 1996 Florida Folk Festival in White Springs, Florida.
Since the early 1960s Arthel “Doc” Watson of Deep Gap, North Carolina has been a staple at Folk Festivals where his articulate guitar picking, rich baritone voice, craft at storytelling, country humor and humble demeanor has made him a favorite with music audiences from around the world including those of the Florida Folk Festival.
Doc began playing music on a homemade banjo before taking up the guitar in his teens, demonstrating a natural talent for both instruments. In 1960 he was discovered by musicologist Ralph Rinzler during a Folkways recording session for the album Old Time Music at Clarence Ashley’s. An invitation to play The Newport Folk Festival quickly followed, shortly thereafter he became a regular performer at coffee houses, clubs and college campuses where he was well known by folk music fans.
Never one to limit himself to a single genre, Doc Watson has played folk, country, old time, bluegrass, blues, gospel, rockabilly, hillbilly jazz and swing over nearly seven decades. He has released nearly a hundred albums under his own name and made guest appearances on as many others including the 1972 triple album Will the Circle be Unbroken by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band where he appeared with country legends Roy Acuff, Mother Maybelle Carter, Earl Scruggs, Merle Travis and Florida’s own Vassar Clements. His musical talent has earned him six Grammy Awards, induction to The Bluegrass Hall of Fame, the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and the National Medal of the Arts presented by President Bill Clinton.
This May 25th, 1996 Florida Folk Festival recording features Doc with his long time playing partner Jack Lawrence before an enthusiastic White Springs crowd. Doc & Jack also appear on our fourth Florida Folklife Music collection cd titled “Look A-Yonder Comin.” You can find additional information on this disc and request your own complimentary copy on the audio page featuring this podcast.
Well there’s nothing left to say that the music can’t say better. Prepare yourself for some quality flat picking courtesy of an American treasure, Doc Watson.