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About the video
Doc Watson was born in Deep Gap, North Carolina in 1923. He is an American
Singer and Songwriter whose body of work encompasses folk, bluegrass,
country, blues and gospel music.
This video is for "Handsome Molly" which was recorded around 1960 while Doc
Watson was working with another notable musician, Clarence Ashley.
The Smithsonian has archived and rereleased some of Doc Watson's early work
About the artist
For more than four decades Arthel (Doc) Watson's clean, melodic flat-pick lead
guitar style inspired and profoundly influenced many younger players, helping
establish the guitar as a lead instrument in bluegrass.
Watson grew up near Deep Gap in the western North Carolina mountains,
surrounded by family and friends playing old-time music. Though sightless, he
learned guitar styles ranging from fiddle tunes to blues and popular country
After years of performing locally as a "rockabilly" electric guitarist, he began
recording and touring as an acoustic "folk" artist in the early 1960s, quickly
reaching headliner status. Doc's son, Merle, accompanied him on guitar until
Merle's death in 1985.
While not representing himself as a bluegrass performer, Watson earned
respect in bluegrass for his guitar mastery, rich, expressive vocals and
invigorating harmonica and "clawhammer" banjo playing.
Doc Watson's discography of several hundred recordings includes a stunning
version of the instrumental, "Black Mountain Rag" and favorites such as "Deep
River Blues," "Little Stream of Whiskey," "The Train That Carried My Girl From
Town," "Tennessee Stud" and "Little Sadie."