Doc Watson, Grammy-Winning Folk Musician, in Critical Condition
Doc Watson, Grammy-Winning Folk Musician, in Critical Condition

Grammy-winning folk musician Doc Watson is in critical condition Friday at a North Carolina hospital after falling at his home in Deep Gap earlier this week.

A spokeswoman at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem says Watson remains in critical condition Friday morning.

Watson's daughter, Nancy, told The Associated Press the 89-year-old Watson fell Monday. She said he did not break any bones.

The blind singer and guitarist, whose legal first name is Arthel, has won several Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award. He also received the National Medal of the Arts.

He's known as a master of the flatpicking style of guitar playing. He also started Merlefest, an annual gathering of musicians in North Wilkesboro named after his son, a musician who died in a tractor accident in 1985.

Doc Watson's wife of more than 60 years, RosaLee, has been in a nursing home since last year, Nancy Watson said. The two married when she was 15 and he was 23.

"She saw what little good there was in me and there was little," Doc said in an interview with the Associated Press in 2000. "I'm awful glad she cared about me, and I'm awful glad she married me."

Wayne Martin, executive director of the North Carolina Arts Council, said Watson takes southern Appalachian forms of music, such as ballad singing, old-time string music and bluegrass, and makes them accessible.

"He takes old music and puts his own creativity on it," Martin said. "It retained its core, yet it felt relevant to people today."

Video: Doc Watson playing "Deep River Blues"

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