Posted by themusicsover on April 22, 2011
June 1, 1935 – April 22, 2011
Hazel Dickens was a popular Appalachian bluegrass and folk singer, songwriter and musician who was revered for her beautiful voice as well as for her socially driven lyrics that tended to touch on feminism and pro-union causes. Born into a poor mining family in West Virginia, Dickens became friends with Pete Seeger’s brother and fellow musician Mike Seeger, who prompted her desire to get involved with the highly active Baltimore-Washington folk music scene of the ’60s. She and Seeger’s wife, Alice Gerard went on to perform and record as Hazel & Alice. By the mid ’70s, Dickens was working as a solo artist. Four of her early recordings can be heard in the award-winning mining documentary, Harlan County, USA. She also appeared in the film as well as Matewan and Songcatcher. Although she stopped putting out albums in the mid ’80s, Dickens could still be found performing live for many years to come, even as recently as at Austin’s SXSW music conference in March of 2011. Hazel Dickens passed away on April 22, 2011. She was 75.