Happy In Bag

Monday, March 27, 2006

Doc Watson, Appalachian Coelacanth

As ocean depths and obscure Indonesian islands are explored, scientists sometimes find living specimens of animal species thought to be long extinct.

A few living fossils still exist in the music world. One of them is Appalachian guitarist Doc Watson. The 83-year-old performed at Johnson County Community College on Saturday night. Let this photograph serve as definitive scientific proof that original American mountain music is not yet extinct.

There will always be old people, of course. But the generation that was born before the great depression is the last one raised in a vastly different world. I’m not about to suggest that today’s music is less real or lacks authenticity. But when Watson, BB King, 80, Les Paul, 90, Robert Lockwood, 81, and Kansas City’s 97-year-old Jay McShann pass on, we’ll have lost our last links to a time in music when even the concept of electricity wasn’t taken for granted.

Celebrate these musical coelacanths before they’re gone.


Post a Comment

<< Home