I was late to the party; I didn't get into Doc Watson until 1964 when I completely wore out his LP "Southbound". He and Merle are now playing for the angels.
Well, I think he wasn't too well-known publicly till the '62? '63? Newport...which I can easily go look up, and try to determine how well-known he was in "old-time" country circles before that...but I sure was happy to finally first hear him ca. 1981 or so (on the relevant Vanguard NEWPORT lp)...the only time I saw him live, Donna and I caught him on his third or so Farewell Tour at the Birchmere in Alexandria, probably around 1988 or '89...even mourning Merle, he still was willing to share with us, and for all these years since.
WIKIPEDIA suggests he goes semi-pro in '53, working dances (and tuning pianos for daily bread), and switches to mostly acoustic guitars and gets on the folkie circuit by '60...with the '63 Newport performance breaking him out.
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