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Wayne Martin, executive director of the North Carolina Arts Council, said recently that Watson took southern Appalachian forms of music such as balladry, old-time string music and bluegrass, and made them accessible.

“He takes old music and puts his own creativity on it,” Martin said. “It retained its core, yet it felt relevant to people today.”

Said Bush: “I don’t think anyone personifies what we call Americana more than Doc Watson.”

In 2011, a life-size statue of Watson was dedicated in Boone, N.C., at the spot where Watson had played decades earlier for tips to support his family, according to the Folklore statement. At Watson’s request the inscription read, “Just One of the People.”