Happy Birthday Dawn Watson, January 19, 1962, was born in Arlington, Va. At the age of 8 she moved to Lincoln, Nebraska with her mother.
Her parents influenced her interest in music. She was 16 when she picked up the banjo and the mandolin.
Watson Receives Recognition
Watson won the Arizona State Mandolin Championship in 1989. She performed with the Nashville touring group, Petticoat Junction, as well as others in the Midwest.
She is now a full-time faculty member at South Plains College.
Watson’s Thoughts on the Music
Watson said she appreciates the long tradition of bluegrass, which began in the folk melodies of Great Britain and Ireland. These songs evolved in the Appalachian mountains among descendants of American settlers. “A LOT OF people think some of the old songs date back to the 1920s and ’30s, when they were first recorded or published, but they’re a lot older than that,” she said. “When we went up to play the Winnepeg Folk Festival this year, it was incredible to hear various folk-music traditions and find out how inter-related they are.”
Although the audience niche for bluegrass continues to be small, Watson sees potential for growth in the Midwest and around the world, particularly in Europe and Japan. “Every year there are more and more festivals,” she said; “Every year the number of gigs is expanding.”