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Doc Watson responsive after colon surgery

Folk musician Doc Watson, 89, is responsive and regaining some strength after undergoing colon surgery Thursday at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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Doc Watson performs in the Blues Tent in the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course on May 1, 2009 in New Orleans. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Folk musician Doc Watson, 89, is responsive and regaining some strength after undergoing colon surgery Thursday at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

"His condition remains critical but he's better," longtime manager Mitch Greenhill told The New York Times. "He's in the intensive care unit and he's probably going to be there for a while."

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Watson became ill and fell down at his home in Deep Gap earlier this week, according to the Times. He was taken to the hospital in the nearby town of Boone, but was sent to the medical facility in Winston-Salem when doctors determined he needed surgery to remove a blockage in his colon.

A statement on Folklore Productions International's website said Watson was "resting and responsive" following his surgery, reported Reuters.

"The family appreciates everyone's prayers and good wishes," the statement said.

The blind singer and guitarist has won several Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award, according to the Associated Press. He is known for being a master of flatpicking and for starting Merlefest, a gathering of musicians named after his son, who died in a tractor accident in 1985.

Among his hits are "Tom Dooley," "Shady Grove" and "Rising Sun Blues," reported Reuters. His most recent Grammy win was in 2006 in the best country instrumental performance category for his playing on "Whiskey Before Breakfast."

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