Making Music History: Meet Merle Watson, 2019 N.C. Music Hall of Fame Inductee

October 6, 2019

Merle Watson, son of flatpicking legend Doc Watson, will be posthumously inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame on October 17, 2019.

Born in Deep Gap, N.C., Merle began playing with his father at the age of 15. They recorded 12 albums together, with Two Days In November earning the 1974 Grammy for Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording and “Big Sandy/Leather Britches” winning in 1979 for Best Country Instrumental Performance. Serving as lead guitarist and banjo player for his dad’s band for 20 years, Merle tragically passed away after a tractor accident in 1985. 

MerleFest, an annual music festival held in Wilkesboro, N.C. was founded in 1988 in memory and honor of the deceased guitar legend, and to this day serves as the premiere “traditional plus” weekend of music – a fitting tribute to one of North Carolina’s most important musicians.