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Folk Legend Doc Watson Dies at 89

Posted Tuesday May 29, 2012 10:18 PM GMT

Folk music legend Doc Watson died on Tuesday (May 29) at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC at the age of 89.

The Americana singer, blind since infancy, was known for his mastery on the acoustic guitar and was hospitalized last week when he underwent surgery after he fell at his home in Deep Gap.

When he was just a young boy he bought his first guitar for $10 after working in his father’s farm and recently said, “He put me to work, and that made me feel useful. A lot of blind people weren't ever put to work.”

He was truly praised in the folk music world and fellow artist Ralph Rinzler said, “He is single-handedly responsible for the extraordinary increase in acoustic flat-picking and finger-picking performance. His flat-picking style has no precedent in early country music history.”

Watson won seven Grammy awards throughout his career, as well as a lifetime achievement award in 2004. In 1997, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts from then President Bill Clinton.

Photo Credit: Getty Images