Local School for the Blind Celebrates Doc Watson's Life

By Cristina Quinn

May 30, 2012

doc watson

Doc Watson performs at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 1, 2009. (Rick Diamond/Staff/Getty Images Entertainment)

BOSTON — Legendary guitar musician Doc Watson passed away Tuesday at the age of 89. Watson, who lost his sight when he was a baby, was an inspiration to many musicians, but particularly those in the blind community. And his music resonates with one local institution — the Perkins School for the Blind.

"There’s that list of famous blind musicians that we all know and love and Doc Watson is definitely one of them,” said Robert Hair, education director of the Perkins Lower School. Wednesday morning, the school paid tribute to Watson by playing his music and talking about his accomplishments.

“Blind kids in particular, I think, really do enjoy music and gravitate towards it," Hair said. "And of course having role models like Doc Watson and Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles is really meaningful to these kids. So when they hear something like Doc Watson with this sort of soulful folk picking on the guitar and singing, it really says something to the kids and they really can get into that.”

Hair added that although they are fortunate to be able to listen to a recording of Doc Watson any time, the musician will be missed.

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