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DOC WATSON: Singer-guitarist Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson, an influential figure in American roots music, died Tuesday in Winston-Salem, N.C., his publicist said. He was 89.
Watson -- a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, a National Heritage Fellowship, and eight Grammy Awards -- died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center following a fall at his home and complications from colon surgery last week, Mitch Greenhill said in a posting on his Web site, Folklore Productions International.
Watson was born March 3, 1923, into a musical family in Deep Gap. N.C. His mother Annie Watson was a singer and his father General Watson played the banjo. Doc Watson, who was blind from birth, played banjo initially but picked up the guitar at age 13.
He married Rosa Lee Carlton in 1947 and they had two children, Eddy Merle and Nancy Ellen. Eddy Merle, who went by Merle Watson in his own musical career, was killed in 1985 in a tractor accident.
Doc Watson's professional career began in 1953, when he began a seven-year stint with pianist Jack Williams' rockabilly-swing band.
Folklorists Ralph Rinzler and Eugene Earle heard Watson in 1960 while they were visiting the U.S. South to research the growing popularity of folk music and by 1962, Watson was performing solo in New York's Greenwich Village.
He recorded his first solo album in 1964, represented by Folklore Productions, a business relationship that endured until his death Tuesday.
Watson and his son Merle began touring together in the late '60s. Doc Watson stopped touring for a time after his son's death.
Rinzler once wrote that Watson was "single-handedly responsible for the extraordinary increase in acoustic flat-picking and finger-picking performance," USA Today reported.
"His flat-picking style has no precedent in early country music history," Rinzler said.
In addition to his seven Grammy awards for blues and folk categories, Watson received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.
Besides his wife, Watson is survived by their daughter Nancy Ellen, his grandchildren Richard Watson and Karen Watson Norris, several great-grandchildren and his brother David Watson, Folklore Productions said.
Private funeral arrangements were pending.
MICHELLE OBAMA: U.S. first lady Michelle Obama says she has no intention of running for political office.
Asked on Tuesday's edition of ABC's "The View" about rumors claiming she hopes to realize her own political ambitions once her husband, President Barack Obama, leaves the White House, Michelle Obama replied: "Those are other people's rumors. Absolutely not. I am not interested in politics. Never have been.
"One of the things you learn after 48 years of life ... you know what your passions and your gifts are," she said. "Now the one thing that is certain -- I will serve. I will serve in some capacity. The work I'm doing with military families is a forever proposition because they will always need a voice out there. They will always need a country standing strong and if I have any kind of platform, I'm going to be their voice. But there are so many ways to serve and being president is one of the hardest ways and that's one of the reasons I tell Barack I'm a little smarter than him. I picked the easier job."
ELVIS PRESLEY: The head of Julien's Auctions says the Memphis crypt where Elvis Presley was initially entombed could be a great "conversation piece" for whoever buys it.
Presley died in 1977 of a heart attack after years of drug abuse. He was 42 when he was laid to rest beside his mother Gladys in the mausoleum of the Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis for two months before Tennessee state officials granted permission for the bodies of both Presleys to be re-buried at the singer's Graceland home.
The New York Times said the auction is to take place June 23 with a starting price of $100,000.
Darren Julien, president and chief executive of Julien's Auctions, told the newspaper he did not categorize the sale of the crypt as "morbid."
"I just consider that if you're an ultimate fan of Elvis Presley, it's an opportunity," Julien said. "It's definitely a conversation piece. Only one person can say, 'Hey, I'm going to be buried where Elvis Presley was.'"
'GRIMM:' Production for Season 2 of the fairy-tale procedural drama "Grimm" is to begin this week in Portland, Ore., NBC announced.
The show's stars Russell Hornsby, Silas Weir Mitchell and Bitsie Tulloch joined Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber Tuesday to kick off production.
Also on hand were state legislators, members of the Governor's Office of Film and Television Board, NBC and Comcast officials, as well as Oregon business owners who have benefited from the impact of local production, the network said.