This page lists thoughts and remembrances shared by readers following Doc's death. Doc touched so many people in so many ways, and we wanted to give his fans the opportunity to share their thoughts about him. Whether it was a memorable concert, a musical influence or just enjoying his music, we invite you to share your thoughts. Click here to share your memories of Doc on this page.
phoebe - Redondo Beach, CA -
It was back in 1964 and in high school. I sang folk songs and played Travis-style on guitar. That summer was fateful. My parents let me go to the Berkeley Folk Festival. I remember Doc Watson and his son Merle playing and singing Deep River Blues and Sitting on Top of the World. For years after I struggled to play Deep River Blues. I've loved their music ever since. I will also remember that summer as the time when the three civil rights workers went missing, which we heard about at the festival.
Several years ago my husband and I finally got to go to Merlefest.
Doc was no longer there, but the music and the love was. We sat on the bench with his statue in Boone and drove to Deep Gap. It was our thank you for the wonderful music you gave us over 55 years ago.
Judy Johnson - Lancashire, England -
Doc made the best music ever ...absolutely love everything he did...
Melvis (Pig) Thorpe - Durham, NC -
I am enjoyed every time I turn on pbs and see my good friend Doc just playing away on that guitar of his. I have been knowing Doc for more than 35 years. He enjoyed coming to my burger joint and when he would come in he would always bring Maybelle (the name he gave his guitar). I never think of Doc as passed on because he will always be alive and well in my heart. Milton still comes in my burger joint and we always have to sing a tune for my buddy Doc. He wrote a song for me back in 1987 entitled just(Pig). God bless, Melvis and Frederick Thorpe (Pig's Fat Burgers)
David - Los Angeles, CA -
I am slowly, but surely learning my way through Doc's song book. I've been practicing Moody River Blues and can pick maybe half a dozen others pretty decently (at least to my ears!)Learning guitar is a life-long journey and Doc's influence is with me each step of the way.
Tobias Puente - Fremont -
If you look at the post before mine, it's from Paradise, California...a town wiped out by fire shortly after Tom posted his appreciation for Doc.First, to Tom, we will never forget...and we will get smarter about prevention of such disaster.Second, I hope you're alive Tom, so we may meet and share our appreciaton for Doc...he's my favorite guitarist, too, and more than that. He's up there with my favorite people...his humor, his positive attitude, his encouraging words.It's been over 6 years and I still think of and miss Doc. I'll go to my resting place feeling the same way.Thank you, Doc. I enjoy your work so much it makes me want to be a better person.Tobias
Tom - Paradise, CA -
The world is a lesser place without Doc, Merle and Richard making music for all of us. Doc's guitar,harmonica and banjo picking continues to inspire me to keep working on all three instruments, for over 30 years after I heard him and Merle. He had a great and intimate stage presence that few performers do, and I loved his humorous country anecdotes. Still makes me smile when I hear the same stories on my old records. When someone asks who my favorite guitarist is, I will say 'til I breathe my last - Doc Watson!!!
David Patteson - N. Chesterfield -
I love you Doc. You have given me a love of Appalachian, old-time music. Your music has the soul of those mountains. You live forever in my heart.
Stewart Seidel - Vancouver, BC -
I moved to Vancouver, BC, in 1980, transferred because of a job I had at the time. A few months after arriving here, I woke up at 6am one morning, as I usually did, to CBC radio on my alarm clock. It happened that CBC was offering a free ticket to Doc's concert, if you were the first person to call in with Doc's real name. Well, any fool knows that! So I threw on my pants and as quickly as I could called the number at the CBC.
It was the first and only time I ever won anything. The concert, with Doc, Merle and T. Michael Coleman on bass, was unforgettable.
Dave Quillin - Stayton, OR -
I met Doc at the Cherokee North Carolina BG Festival on June 30th, 2011. Along with his grandson, Richard Eddy Watson, he had performed a complete set that afternoon and had returned to the performer area with his grandson.
I had heard that Doc disliked autographing items so I asked his grandson if it would be possible. He spoke to Doc who said ok. Doc signed the poster and Richard signed his father's name (Merle)
All were were very cordial and thanked me for traveling such a long distance.
Gomer Saidgrastion - Oxford -
I first met Doc while I was in prison. It was the 70's and the prison had a pen pal program and I picked Doc's name from the information board in the rec room. We wrote each other for several years until my release. When I was released from prison Doc helped me emotionally and financially and helped me find my first job. Me being African American and gay was taboo in the 70's but Doc accepted me into his life. Doc introduced me to my now husband Harold O'macroland. There will always be a special place in my heart for a special person. Until we meet again sweet prince. God bless.
Jewu - Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany -
Doc Watson, Godfather of Oldtime Bluegrass. Since I came to listen to his music I think of him every day, often listening to his songs or even try to pick a few. Love forever!
Joe Ortiz - Seattle, WA -
I never had the pleasure of seeing him in person. His music and style has inspired me to learn how to pick the guitar. I'm into it now 2.5 years and hope to someday play some of his music...probably at 1/10th the speed.
Joseph Barker - Eureka -
First heard Doc on the Circle Is Unbroken, his songs on there instantly became my favorites. First time I saw him play was at Merlefest in 01. He blew my mind. Got to see him a few more times after that. Last time in Golden Gate at Hardly Strictly. He shared the stage with Earl Scruggs and Ralph Stanley. Top ten best show of all time for me. Love you Doc!! Thank you.
Paul Brooke - Vancouver, British Columbia -
On a trip to Mexico with a friend in 1973, we stopped in Santa Monica. I bought a paper, and found to our great good luck, that Doc and Merle Watson were playing that very evening at McCabe's guitar store on Pico Boulevard. We immediately went to the store, got tickets, and were first in line for the show. Doc and Merle were wonderful to see and hear in such an intimate setting, and I'll never forget it. I've been a lifelong fan ever since. When he lost Merle it was very sad for me to hear. That was a father and son combination unlike any other. Likewise, the passing of Doc was also very sad. He was the greatest.
Sean Still - Sacramento CA -
I first seen Doc at about age 15 with my father. My dad and I have played bluegrass music since I can remember. My grandfather got us both started and he was a huge Doc fan. He had many old records of him that I played on his old record player so I could learn most of Doc's tunes. It's been about ten years since I have seen Doc play that day. I remember how great he sounded as his fingers would just dance over the notes. He was about 70 or so at the time and played with a lot of fire and intensity. He is my favorite. He is still such a huge musical influence to myself and many others. What a special man.
Mac - Oak Ridge TN -
I first heard Doc on the radio in the early '60's playing Black Mtn. Rag. I got the album that had the song on it - the one with the black & white photo on the cover titled simply "Doc Watson" I've got all his LPs and the DVD versions as well, and the books too. Can't get enough of that impeccable musical taste. What a picker and folk treasure!
Terry W. Gardiner - Greeneville, TN. 37743 -
Saw Doc Watson when I was 14 years old down in Newport RI at my first folk festival in 1963. Sitting on the ground at St. Michaels college campus at a guitar workshop. Storm off the coast brought the temps. down to low 60s. Didn't bother Doc for a second as he amazed those who braved the cold to see him perform along with Clarence White as back up. WOW.
Amber L. Boyce - Bassett VA -
The first song I ever remember hearing was Doc's Down in the Valley to Pray. Its my first memory of listening to music. So I have loved Doc Watson's music as long as I can remember. Laying on the floor beside the stereo speakers listening intently as Mom and Dad played Doc's albums. I always wanted to see him perform live but never got the chance. My parents used to argue a lot when I was a kid, but I always knew when Doc was playing there would be no arguing that night. So in a way I kinda felt like Doc was my guardian angel.
Mark Tully - Baltimore Md -
I saw Doc twice in concert in Baltimore and one especially excellent one at the arts festival in the early eighties with Merle and Sam Bush I believe. Doc stated from the stage that the sound system was one of the best he had ever heard so you can imagine how great that guitar picking and singing voice sounded. It was supernatural and mesmerizing. I even had a chance to talk with him as he and Merle walked to the train. What a lucky happenstance to be able to say I spoke with Doc. A number of people were gathering but he somehow clearly heard my question about what pick he used and answered me directly. Wow what a thrill and a gift!