January 19 Happy Birthday Dawn Watson

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.”

About the author

I enjoy researching Bluegrass, Bluegrass Gospel, and Country birthdays, anniversaries and interesting trivia dates. I am a piano/organ performance major who has taught privately and served as church accompanist since 1968 in North Carolina and Central Kentucky. Although classically trained, I appreciate all genres of music. My mother, who was also a church musician and taught public school music grades K-12, knew that Bluegrass music was the purest American music. She always introduced her students to this fine genre and began my musical studies with her at age 2. Bach to Berachah Valley, Mozart to Jimmy Martin, Sibelius to Stanley Brothers, the list goes on, I hope you find some moments of enjoyment and learn a few interesting facts along the way.
I am thankful for the many resources we have at our fingertips including Google. FaceBook and BluegrassBios by Wayne Rice. It was he who inspired me to tackle the task of trying to pass on knowledge about Bluegrass music. Thanks Wayne~!
Lou Ellen Wilkie