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.
David S - Los angeles -
Tonight, I learned that I passed the California Bar Exam. I wouldn't have done so if it was not for Doc. You see, the exam was administered remotely. It's a two day exam that required me to rent a hotel room because home can be distracting.
I brought my Martin guitar with me to ease my mind during these stressful two days. After every exam section, we were given a 15 minute break. Most people run to their notes and try to stuff in some last minute information.
However, I simply walked to my Martin and picked away at some of my favorite songs I learned from Doc. I came back to the exam each time with a renewed energy and sense of well being. That's the power of the songs Doc shared with us all.
I'll continue listening and continue to be inspired as I face new challenges. Thank you Doc!
Jay Elkins - East Brunswick, N.J -
It's too hard to collect all of my memories of Doc, the hours I spent playing along with his recordings, warming up with him and with Merle at festivals in DC, talking with him between sets in Chicago, making personal videos of him playing in his last years. He was unique in his stupendous gifts, his modesty and brilliance, and how he admired his peers. Up until his final years, his performance repertoire was so extensive that it seemed to be limitless. Most people never knew what a work ethic he maintained, practicing late into most nights alone, and then playing with others by day.
Grayson Byrd - Raleigh, North Carolina -
Unfortunately I never had the pleasure of getting to see Doc in person, I am far too young for that, only 22 currently. Hearing Doc’s music in my teens completely changed my music listening life. Growing up in NC, I always searched for that raw sound that defined the area my family has called home for hundreds of years. Doc was exactly that, a distillation of the old time music tradition combined with god given talent and his work ethic that codified the southern music for generations to come. I may have never gotten the pleasure to see his brilliance in person, but Doc will always stay alive in his music, and my family will surely carry his music forward and continue the beautiful traditions he showed the entire world. Thank you Doc and the entire Watson family for the endless joy and artistic wonder you brought into this world.
Doug Randall - Marshalltown, Iowa -
I was first introduced to Doc's music many years ago by a girl friend. The girl friend is long gone but I have always enjoyed his music. I listen to his music at least once a week and my wife has also become a fan.
Kenneth R collins - Charlotte -
Growing up in NC, there's always a ton of pickers, but Doc was the "Cat Daddy" we like to say. During the early seventies till the late seventies was a wonderful time for bluegrass because all the great people of of this beautiful music were still alive. My buddies and me saw Doc numerous times and he was always the best plus he was one of our own. A Doc Watson concert always felt like you were sitting in with family. That's how soulful this guy was. R.I.P. Doc , you're surely missed !
Ian Branson - Chandler, Arizona -
I first heard Circle as a three LP set, when it was released 1972. Somewhere between Dylan, the Dead, and the Dillards, my folks introduced me to Doc. I was completely taken by Tennessee Stud, the perfect introduction to Doc, his melodic picking, and his genial manner. Circle still gets regular playlist rotation in my car.
Garry Reidister - Winthrop MA -
I first heard Doc and Merle on day-time only radio station WCAS in Boston, and immediately became a fan. I was fortunate to see them perform live a couple of times - a treat of course. Wonderful music and genuine people!
James Lithgow - Black Creek BC -
Saw Doc twice, once with Merle I am rediscovering Doc's music once more, probably for the 3rd or 4th time in my life. You can keep coming back and dipping into the well. Nice site, good work.
Don Petrarca - Branford CT -
In 2007, my wife and I took our 11 year old granddaughter Maria to her first concert and it was Doc and David Holt. I asked David if Doc could play a song for her and Doc accommodated with The Cat Came Back. What a wonderful gesture by someone who called himself "just one of the people."
Robert Harris - Gainesville Ga. -
Doc was not only a great guitarist, he was a great guy and a great entertainer. There are people who will be sadly and sorely missed after they're gone and Doc Watson in one of them!
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.