The Washington Post

Doc Watson in critical condition after fall (UPDATE)

Doc Watson. (Lauren Carroll/The Winston-Salem Journal/AP)

Update: Folklore Productions told the AP Watson underwent colon surgery and is improving.

Original post

Famed folk and bluegrass musician Doc Watson is in critical condition at a North Carolina hospital after suffering a fall at his home earlier this week and undergoing colon surgery, the Associated Press reports.

Watson’s daughter Nancy told the Winston-Salem Journal her 89-year-old father did not break any bones, but is “real sick.” A friend of the musician told the Watauga Democrat that Watson has an infection.

Born Arthel Watson, the blind musician, known for his flatpicking guitar skills, has won seven Grammys, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award. He created Merlefest, a traditional” music festival named after his late son Eddy Merle, in 1988.

Watson’s performance at the festival this April “drew record crowds,” according to

Actor Steve Martin, who is also an accomplished banjo player, tweeted, “Hoping that the great bluegrass legend Doc Watson pulls through from from his hospitalization. One of the masters.”

Watch Doc Watson play with Earl Scruggs, who died this March, below.

And here’s a wonderful video of Watson singing “Amazing Grace.” Thanks to reader trichobezoar for bringing it to our attention.


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