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Dougie MacLean on Doc Watson

May 31, 2012

Dougie MacLean, the great Scottish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, tweeted this morning on news of Doc Watson’s death that he had once spent a month with the Watson family in the 1970s. Intrigued, I contacted him via his web site and was sent this this comment that he apparently made recently. Small world, music is.

“In my early 20’s (as a young out-of-work musician) I got the job of driving a minibus with Doc and his whole family on a European Tour — carrying Doc’s guitars and acting as road manager. Young as I was as well as being  from rural Scotland, I was not familiar with old time American music and I spent a month being totally ‘blown away’ watching and listening to Doc and Merle onstage. They were very kind to me as a young musician and I felt that I formed a close bond with the whole family — along with Michael T. Coleman and his wife. I spent a lot of time with Merle and we had great adventures in many European cities. Mannie Greenhill was also on tour with us. Some of my fondest memories are of driving down German autobahns with Doc and the family singing gospel songs.”

Here are some videos – one from Dougie, the other from Doc:


From → Music

One Comment
  1. DanB permalink

    This is great stuff to read. I was introduced to Dougie’s music, through, of all things, a beer commercial when I was a student in Edinburgh too many years ago. Don’t recall the beer but the song was his classic “Caledonia.” I didn’t have the Internet to look it up so it was only a few years later when listening to public radio in New York that it came back around and I tracked it down. Now a beer commercial may not be the most auspicious way to have learned about him, but since then I’ve hunted down some of his CD’s and been blown away by Dougie’s music. I turned my wife, an avowed 80’s music connoisseur, into an fan and we often just have it on a loop when we’re in the car, and the kids don’t seem to complain too much either. Thanks for sharing this great anecdote. RIP Doc Watson.

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