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An intimate collection of recordings and photos from Doc Watson and his extraordinary family in a 94-song, four disc box set.
An intimate collection of recordings and photos from Doc Watson and his extraordinary family in a 94-song, four disc box set.
497 backers pledged $83,096 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$83,096

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Nancy Watson, Doc Watson's only daughter, would like to tell you a story. It is a story made up of songs, family history, narrative and photographs over a decade in the making. It is called Doc Watson Family Milestones

Doc Watson Family Milestones is a collection that was created entirely from within the family, with input from Doc himself. It quite literally began with scissors and construction paper, string and glue, recently found reel-to-reel tapes, and stacks of family photo albums. 

With your help, this multi-disc collection will be released April 2013 and the music and traditions of the Watson family will continue to inspire. Along with Nancy's handmade photo collages and personal musical discoveries, the four-CD, special-edition box set will include mastered audio by GRAMMY Award winning engineer Bill Wolf.

We want to uphold Nancy and Doc's wish to offer this one-of-a-kind box-set at an affordable price. In order to do so, we have to print many more copies than what we can currently afford. Our goal is to print at least 5000 copies - let's make it happen.

What makes Doc Watson Family Milestones special:

Recordings made by various members of the Watson family in an informal setting, without outside influence and for their own enjoyment.

 • Rare selections that Doc Watson recorded by himself at home, using a multi-track tape machine, on which he creates a veritable one-man string band.

• Material ranging from Doc’s father-in-law Gaither Carlton singing songs and playing fiddle and banjo tunes, to Doc telling stories of his early life, to work songs sung by Doc Watson's mother.

• Recordings from the 1950s of Doc playing his Les Paul electric guitar - unavailable until now. At this early point in his career, he was playing pop, jazz and rockabilly standards with pianist Jack Williams. 

• Three original songs written by Doc Watson, and original material from other members of the family as well. 

• Home recordings of rehearsals for the 1961 Friends of Old-Time Music, as well as live concert performances spanning decades.  

• Ballads by Doc, Nancy, and Rosa Lee Watson (Doc’s wife and Nancy’s mother) who also wrote two songs in the collection.

• Collages of photographs created by Nancy. Over 500 in number, the pictures were carefully chosen from family photo albums and arranged to support the music you’ll hear.

This is what we’ll use our Kickstarter Funds For:

• Audio editing, assembly, clean-up, and initial mastering by T. Michael Coleman. Final mastering Bill Wolf.

• Environmentally sustainable paper (Rainforest Alliance backed, FSC certified) for the box set, thanks to our paper provider, Appleton.

• Book production and CD manufacturing for 5000 units.

• Production of a limited edition run of 500 numbered, foil stamped box sets, available to Kickstarter backers.

This is why we need you:

If we only make 1000 copies of Doc Watson Family Milestones, it will cost over $100 to buy. By producing more copies, the price per copy will be reduced drastically, and will allow us to offer the set at a more affordable price. 

The production costs to this point have been incurred primarily by Nancy Watson herself, and printing 5000 copies is simply an unaffordable prospect for the family to handle on their own.

Nancy's goal for Doc Watson Family Milestones is to share the story of music and family with Doc's extended family - those who love and cherish his music.

Thank you for your support!

Risks and challenges

As any musician knows, there can always be unexpected production delays on an album. Add hand-written liner notes, hand-made photo collages and hand-numbered box sets, and it becomes a tricky proposition.

We have built in some extra time to tackle such delays and have started working on pre-production for "Doc Watson Family Milestones." The lines of communication are open with our vendors and artists; should we experience any setbacks on the release date, we'll let you know as soon as possible! However, we have our sights set on April 2013, and we have the support and enthusiasm of some great people to help make it happen.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    The satisfaction of contributing to an American "Milestone." Thanks for your support!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    ONE NEVER BEFORE HEARD MP3: An audio outtake from Doc Watson Family Milestones.

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    TWO NEVER BEFORE HEARD MP3'S: Audio outtakes from Doc Watson Family Milestones.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    DOC & MERLE WATSON OUT OF PRINT 45: One out of print 45 rpm recording of Doc Watson and his son Merle - delivered directly from Doc's house and previously belonging to Doc Watson himself (includes certificate of authenticity). Plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    DOC WATSON OUT OF PRINT 45: One out of print 45 rpm recording of Doc Watson - delivered directly from Doc's house and previously belonging to Doc Watson himself (includes certificate of authenticity). Plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    DOC WATSON OUT OF PRINT 45: One out of print 45 rpm recording of Doc Watson - delivered directly from Doc's house and previously belonging to Doc Watson himself (includes certificate of authenticity).

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    DOC & MERLE WATSON OUT OF PRINT 45: One out of print 45 rpm recording of Doc Watson and his son Merle - delivered directly from Doc's house and previously belonging to Doc Watson himself (includes certificate of authenticity).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    DOC WATSON "MEMORIES" LP: One copy of "Doc Watson Memories" on vinyl, previously belonging to Doc himself (includes certificate of authenticity).

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    DOC & CHET ATKINS OUT OF PRINT 45: One out of print 45 rpm recording of Doc Watson and Chet Atkins, plus a never-before-seen photo of the musicians - delivered directly from Doc's house and previously belonging to Doc Watson himself (includes certificate of authenticity).

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    Pledge $133 or more About $133

    THE BOX SET: One copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones," available before you can purchase in-stores, plus two never before heard MP3's and a heartfelt thank you from the Watson Family.

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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    DOC'S GUITAR STRINGS: One set of unused guitar strings previously belonging to Doc Watson (includes certificate of authenticity), plus a copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    THE DOC WATSON BALL-CAP COLLECTION: One baseball cap from Doc Watson's personal collection (includes certificate of authenticity), plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    #163 - #500, LIMITED EDITION BOX SET: Numbers 163 - 500 of the limited edition (500 total), numbered "Doc Watson Family Milestones" box set, plus a "thank you" credit on the website.

    *Box sets will be sent in chronological order, beginning with #163.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    DOC'S FLAT PICK: One flat pick that Doc Watson previously used on-stage, in the studio or while rehearsing (includes certificate of authenticity), plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    DOC'S FINGER PICK: One finger pick that Doc Watson previously used on-stage, in the studio or while rehearsing (includes certificate of authenticity), plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    DOC'S THUMB PICK: One thumb pick that Doc Watson previously used on-stage, in the studio or while rehearsing (includes certificate of authenticity), plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    DOC'S WALKING STICK: One walking stick from Doc Watson's collection at his home (includes certificate of authenticity).

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    STRINGS AND SONGS: Numbers 131 - 163 of the limited edition (500 total), numbered "Doc Watson Family Milestones" box set, plus one set of used guitar strings that Doc used on-stage, while recording or rehearsing. Includes certificate of authenticity.

    *Box sets will be sent in chronological order, beginning with #131.

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    DOC'S POCKET KNIFE: One pocket knife from Doc Watson's collection (includes certificate of authenticity) plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    DOC'S CAPO: One capo from Doc Watson's collection (includes certificate of authenticity) plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    VINTAGE MERLEFEST POSTER & LTD. EDITION BOX SET: One vintage Merlefest poster from Doc's personal collection (includes certificate of authenticity), plus one copy - numbers #101 - #130 - of the limited edition, numbered "Doc Watson Family Milestones" box set.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    DOC'S SILVER BELT BUCKLE: One silver belt buckle previously belonging to Doc Watson. This unique piece of Watson memorabilia, plus a copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    #50 - #100, LIMITED EDITION BOX SET: Numbers 50 - 100 of the limited edition (500 total), numbered "Doc Watson Family Milestones" box set, plus a "thank you" credit on the website. *Box sets will be sent in chronological order, beginning with #50

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    DOC'S BELT BUCKLE With Oval Stone #2 (See update picture): One belt buckle previously belonging to Doc Watson. This unique piece of Watson memorabilia, plus a copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    DOC'S BELT BUCKLE With "W" in the Center #3 (See update picture): One belt buckle previously belonging to Doc Watson. This unique piece of Watson memorabilia, plus a copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    #25 - #49, LIMITED EDITION BOX SET: Numbers 25 - 49 of the limited edition (500 total), numbered "Doc Watson Family Milestones" box set, plus a "thank you" credit on the website. *Box sets will be sent in chronological order, beginning with #25

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    MILESTONES PHOTO COLLAGE: One hand made photo collage of Watson family photographs, similar to the collages in "Doc Watson Family Milestones" - custom made by Nancy Watson. Plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones" and a "thank you" credit on the website.

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    ORIGINAL ART BY NANCY WATSON: One original signed painting by Nancy Watson. Sizes vary from 3x5 inches to 8x10 inches. Plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones." Check out examples of her art to the left!

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    #2 - #24, LIMITED EDITION SIGNED BOX SET: Numbers 2 - 24 of the limited edition (500 total), numbered "Doc Watson Family Milestones" box set, signed by Nancy Watson and Producer Roy Andrade. Plus one "thank you" credit on the website. *Box sets will be sent in chronological order, beginning with #2

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    DOC'S BIRTHDAY / SHIRT MILESTONE: In honor of Doc's birthday in 1923, pledges at this level will receive one shirt belonging to Doc with an accompanying photo of him onstage or backstage wearing the shirt. This reward will be hand selected by Nancy Watson and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Plus a "thank you" on website, and one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    HAND-STICHED QUILT: Nancy Watson handmade lap quilt. Measures approx 3 x 5 ft. Also includes one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    CROCHETED FAMILY RUG: Nancy Watson handmade a rug made entirely of Nancy, Rosa Lee and Doc's clothing, cut up into strips and woven. Measures approx 4 x 5 ft. Also includes one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    DOC'S CIGAR BOX SLIDE GUITAR: The 3-string, cigar box slide guitar/dulcimer previously belonging to Doc Watson (includes one certificate of authenticity), plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones."

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    #1 OF LTD. EDITION BOX SET, SIGNED: Number 1 of the limited edition (500 total), numbered "Doc Watson Family Milestones" box set, signed by Nancy Watson and Producer Roy Andrade. Plus one "thank you" credit on the website.

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    DOC'S HARMONICA: Doc Watson’s harmonica collection is a treasured part of his musical career. This pledge includes one harmonica previously belonging to Doc Watson and used on-stage, in the studio, or during rehearsal (includes certificate of authenticity). Plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones" signed by Nancy Watson, Producer Roy Andrade and Box Set Designer Gary Burden.

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    DOC'S LAP STEEL GUITAR: One vintage Kiesel lap steel guitar previously belonging to Doc Watson (collectors piece), plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones." Includes certificate of authenticity.

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    HAMMERED DULCIMER: The hammered dulcimer previously belonging to Doc Watson and given to his daughter Nancy, strung with guitar strings by Doc himself. Plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones." Includes certificate of authenticity.

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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    DOC'S BRAILLE HYMNAL: One copy of "Favorite English Hymns" by The Lutheran Braille Workers, Inc. belonging to Doc Watson, plus one copy of "Doc Watson Family Milestones," and a "thank you" credit on the website.

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Funding period

- (30 days)