2012 has been a year of great loss in the roots and bluegrass music world. Thanksgiving day we lost another important person when Rosa Lee Carlton Watson, wife of the late Doc Watson who passed away earlier this year, and mother of the late Eddy Merle Watson who died in 1985, died from long term complications of a stroke. She was 81.
It is impossible to measure the importance of Rosa Lee to the life of Doc and Merle Watson, but I'll go so far as to say we may not have ever heard the music that so changed the way people thought of the guitar, nor been enthralled by the sheer musical genius that so perfectly brought a spectrum of music to the forefront ranging from old English ballads, to early American folk songs, to country blues, to rockabilly, if Rosa Lee had not been there to support her husband and family.
It was Rosa Lee who taught Merle his first chords on the guitar that ultimately started Merle on his way to being his father's eyes and musical partner on the road. It was Rosa Lee who took care of the family and home while Doc and Merle were traveling all over the country and the world with their music. It was Rosa Lee who wrote the achingly beautiful song "Your Lone Journey," sometimes sung as "Your Long Journey."
Enjoy these two versions of Rosa Lee's song, one by herself and Doc, and the other from the recent recording by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, and have your tissue ready.