Last night, unaware that guitarist Doc Watson had passed, for some unknown reason, I recalled the despair that overwhelmed me when I learned that John Denver had died. His passing was the first to affect me deeply as his recordings were the score for my early 1970s. I cannot hear a Denver song without recalling poignant personal moments.
During the late ’70s, while working at a country music station in Calgary, I segued from John Denver to Bluegrass. One of the DJs who had befriended me hosted a Bluegrass show once a week. He introduced me to Doc Watson, Seldom Scene, and showed me that Flatt and Scruggs were far more than the theme to the Beverly Hillbillies. I was fascinated by the toe-tapping rhythms in counterpoint to the achingly sad lyrics. The music echoed the stark contrast of my existence at the time. I listen to Bluegrass and I listen to my life.
This morning when I opened my Twitter feed to learn that Doc Watson had passed, I was transported. My condolences to his family and his fans. He will be missed.