Merle Watson

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Merle Watson
Merle Watson c. 1979
Background information
Birth nameEddy Merle Watson
Also known asMerle Watson
Born(1949-02-08)February 8, 1949
Deep Gap, North Carolina
DiedOctober 23, 1985(1985-10-23) (aged 36)
Lenoir, North Carolina
GenresBlues, bluegrass, country, folk
Instrumentsguitar, banjo
Associated actsDoc Watson

Eddy Merle Watson (February 8, 1949 – October 23, 1985) was an American folk and bluegrass guitarist. He was best known for his performances with his father, Doc Watson. Merle played and recorded albums together with his father from age 15 until his death in a tractor accident 21 years later.[1] Merle was widely recognized as one of the best flat-picking and slide guitarists of his generation.[2] MerleFest, one of the world's largest and most-prestigious folk music festivals, is held annually in Wilkesboro, NC and is named in his honor.[3]

Merle and his father released a version of "Bottle of Wine" that reached #71 on the U.S. country chart.[4]


All albums were in collaboration with his father, Doc Watson.

Awards and honors[edit]

1974 Grammy for Best Ethnic Or Traditional Recording: Merle Watson & Doc Watson for Two Days In November

1979 Grammy for Best Country Instrumental Performance: Doc Watson & Merle Watson for Big Sandy/Leather Britches

1985 "Best Finger Picking Guitarist-Folk/Blues or Country" Award from Frets Magazine