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Talkin' Guitar: A Story of Young Doc Watson…

Talkin' Guitar: A Story of Young Doc Watson

by Robbin Gourley

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The story of wow a young blind boy named Arthel grew up to become the music legend "Doc" Watson. Simply written and beautifully illustrated. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
Richie’s Picks: TALKIN’ GUITAR: A STORY OF YOUNG DOC WATSON by Robbin Gourley, Clarion, March 2015, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-544-12988-7

“But I often tell about the terrible week for guitar players...Docs' first gig at the Gaslight. Everybody walked out on the street saying, ‘Why do I even try??’”
-- John Sebastian (personal communication January 15, 2015)

As a kid in the mid-sixties watching Ed Sullivan on Sunday nights, I was enthralled by appearances of The Lovin' Spoonful. As a teenager, it was a big deal to attend a concert featuring The Lovin' Spoonful’s John Sebastian. Heading for that concert forty-something years ago, what I didn't expect was that I'd be blown away by the opening performer, a blind guitarist and singer of my parents’ generation named Doc Watson.

“When he played a few notes on his cousin’s guitar, Pappy said, ‘Son, if you can play a song by the time I git home from work, we'll go into town and buy you your own guitar.’ That evening, with the few chords he knew and a belly full of butterflies, Arthel played a sweet, simple song for his family.
“‘I reckon we'll be buying that guitar,’ said Pappy.”

Arthel “Doc” Watson grew up in a big family in the hills of North Carolina. I love Robbin Gourley’s watercolor depictions of Watson’s childhood. The illustrations feature those hazy, multi-hued mountains, the greenery of the family farm, the farmyard critters, and the blind kid with the guitar incessantly listening to the wind and the rain, the Victrola, and the radio.

There are a wealth of Doc Watson recordings and live performances on YouTube. Share this lyrical picture book biography and some of those online videos with young people of all ages.

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com
Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/
http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/people/faculty/partingtonr/partingtonr.php ( )
  richiespicks | Jan 17, 2015 |
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For Schellie and Patti, LaVerne, and Elouise
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Yonder, where blue mountains meet the sky, Arthel Watson was born into a world of music.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0544129881, Hardcover)

Arthel "Doc" Watson (1923–2012) was a Grammy-winning guitarist, singer, and songwriter, high in the pantheon of bluegrass and country music greats. This picture book tells the story of a country boy, born blind, who found music in the sounds around him and learned to play that music on his guitar. Minimal text and breathtaking illustrations pay tribute to Doc's early determination, imagination, and musicianship. Includes additional biographical information. 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:04 -0400)

"With lyrical text and ... illustrations, Robbin Gourley tells the story of a boy whose spirit and determination led him to become one of the most celebrated and beloved figures of folk, bluegrass, and old-time music"--Dust jacket flap.

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