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NC House honors music legend Doc Watson

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Master flatpicker Doc Watson performs at the annual Merlefest at Wilkes Comunity College in Wilkesboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Alan Marler) Master flatpicker Doc Watson performs at the annual Merlefest at Wilkes Comunity College in Wilkesboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Alan Marler)
RALEIGH, N.C. -

The North Carolina House honored music legend and native son Doc Watson with a resolution Thursday.

Lawmakers said the late guitarist forever changed the genres of folk, blues, country and bluegrass with his signature style and voice. Born in Deep Gap in 1923, Watson is credited with developing the flatpicking style of guitar playing and leaving his mark across a broad range of American roots music over a decades-long career.

The Town of Boone dedicated a life-size statue to Watson in 2011 inscribed with the phrase, "Just one of the people."

Meanwhile, Wilkesboro's MerleFest music festival, named after Watson's son, kicked off its 26th year Thursday for the first time without Watson. Festival organizers said the four-day event will include a jam session Saturday featuring many of Watson's closest musician friends, who will tell stories and play some of Watson's favorite songs.

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