Folk Singers: Champion Country Picker

While Bayreuth boasted a Wagnerian summit, Statesville, N.C., happily mustered the top names in folk and country music. To that city, nestled among the Appalachian foothills, there came last weekend such established bluegrass gurus as Earl Scruggs and Red Allen.

Joining them was the man currently winning most of the kudos in the field, Folk Singer-Guitarist Arthel ("Doc") Watson.

Husky, easygoing, and seemingly unperturbed by the fact that he has been blind ever since early childhood, Watson, 44, is a regular country-music Segovia. His casual, clean-cut virtuosity on the "flattop" (nonelectric) guitar...

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