Longtime Friend Remembers Folk Icon Doc Watson

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Doc Watson, the legendary folk and bluegrass musician died Tuesday at the age of 89. Wayne Henderson, a guitarist and master craftsman of guitars and other instruments, was Watson's longtime friend.

The two first met in the late 1960s. Henderson was in a North Carolina music store, picking "Cannonball Blues" when a voice behind him started singing the song — it was Doc Watson.

"I almost dropped my guitar on the floor!" exclaimed Henderson.

Doc Watson used to hang out at Henderson's shop, and eventually he asked Henderson to make him a guitar.

Henderson tells Here & Now's Robin Young that Watson was always talking about his instruments, what kind of neck he likes to play and the action on his fingerboard and string spacing.

Henderson said he paid attention to all of these details, because they helped him build a better guitar.

"When you make a guitar for Doc, you try to make it the way that he wants it to be," Henderson said.

Henderson's daughter Jayne, who's also a luthier, was making Watson a guitar at his request at the time of his death.

He was going to play it at Wayne Henderson's yearly guitar festival and competition in June.


  • Wayne Henderson, master guitar maker

This segment aired on May 31, 2012.


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