Doc Watson

A Life in Music

By Eddie Huffman

Doc Watson

Approx. 288 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 14 halftones, bibl., index

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-8035-4
    Published: January 2025

American Music: New Roots

Hardcover Available January 2025, but pre-order your copy today!

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Arthel "Doc" Watson (1923–2012) is arguably one of the most influential musicians Appalachia has ever produced. A musician's musician, Doc grew up on a subsistence farm in the North Carolina mountains during the Depression, soaking up traditional music and learning to play guitar even though he was blind. Rising to fame in the 1960s as part of the burgeoning folk revival scene, Doc became the face of traditional music for many listeners, racking up multiple Grammys and releasing dozens of albums over the course of his long career. Eddie Huffman tells the story of Doc's life and legacy, drawing on extensive interviews and hundreds of hours of archival research. In making the most comprehensive biography of Watson ever, Huffman gives us an affecting and informative portrait of the man they called Doc.

Full of fascinating stories—from Doc's first banjo made from his grandmother's cat to the founding of MerleFest—this promises to be the definitive biography of the man and how he came to be synonymous with roots music in America and shows how his influence is still felt in music today.

About the Author

Eddie Huffman is a writer, reporter, and author of John Prine: In Spite of Himself. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.
For more information about Eddie Huffman, visit the Author Page.


"Doc Watson is a long overdue biography, one that joyfully shares with audiences the life of the man behind the music. Eddie Huffman gives us an immediate, powerful, and entertaining book worthy of a finely produced biopic."—Trevor McKenzie, author of Otto Wood, the Bandit