Alice Gerrard looms as a towering female figure in a world that was once the domain of male musicians and business leaders. Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard, 1975. [5] She wrote a song titled "Coal Mining Women" about the hardships women faced in the coal mining world. Hazel Dickens, a troubadour of hard ... received a National Heritage fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and was the subject of a documentary. Biography During the early to mid-1960s, Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard, two friends living in the Baltimore/Washington DC area started to play bluegrass music together-a heretofore almost exclusively male bastion-creating a style, a repertoire, and a consciousness … Featuring a haunting soundtrack, with legendary country and bluegrass artists Hazel Dickens, Merle Travis, Sarah Gunning, and Florence Reece, the film is a heartbreaking record of the thirteen-month struggle between a community fighting to survive and a corporation dedicated to the bottom line. She was 75 and had complications from pneumonia. A treat for friends and fans." Protest and folksinger Hazel Dickens grew up the eighth of 11 children in a large, poor mining family in West Virginia, and she used elements of country and bluegrass to spread truth about two causes close to her heart: the plight of non-unionized mineworkers and feminism, born not of the '60s movement but traditional values. Hazel Jane Dickens (June 1, 1925 – April 22, 2011) was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. She no doubt helped pave the way for other female musicians, whether in bluegrass, pop, punk, and beyond. Interviews with Hazel and fellow musicians such as Alison Krauss, Naomi Judd, and Dudley Connell are interwoven with archival footage, recent performances, and 16 songs including “Mama’s Hand,” “ Working Girl Blues,” and “Black Lung.” Her songs on coal mining caught the attention of producer-director Barbara Kopple, who asked her to provide material for HARLAN COUNTY USA’s … Her … She had 1 sister and 9 brothers, all of whom were miners. In the early 1950s she moved to Baltimore. Her three solo … Hazel Dickens (June 1, 1935, - April 22, 2011, born Mercer County, West Virginia) an American bluegrass singer. WASHINGTON (AP) - Hazel Dickens, a folk singer and bluegrass musician who advocated for coal miners, has died at age 75. Together, they recorded two additional albums on Rounder Records, but Hazel & Alice broke up in 1976 and Dickens pursued a solo career where her music and songwriting became more political. True to form, Appalshop has produced quite a line-up for the series—Sunny Side of Life, Sourwood Mountain Dulcimers, From Wood to Singing Guitar, Hazel Dickens: It’s Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song, Quilting Women, The Ralph Stanley Story, Strangers and Kin: A History of the Hillbilly Image, and His Eye is on the Sparrow. Seeger introduced Gerrard to Hazel Dickens, a West Virginia-born singer living in Baltimore, Maryland who had a passion for classic Appalachian folk songs. Genres: Bluegrass, Appalachian Folk Music. Courtesy of Appalshop. Her … In 2011 Dickens died in a Washington DC hospice from complications of pneumonia. Hazel Dickens was born on June 1, 1935 in Montcalm, West Virginia, USA as Hazel Jane Dickens. The two separated in 1973 -- two later albums were compiled from previous recordings -- and Dickens began her solo career with a flourish. I was watching the documentary "Harlan County, USA" last night with my in-laws because my wifes mother lived in Harlan County and remembers the strike in the '30's. In the same year her story was told in the documentary Hazel Dickens: It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song. Hazel Jane Dickens (June 1, 1925[a] – April 22, 2011) was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. Remembering Hazel Dickens Born in West Virginia, Hazel Dickens recorded twice for Folkways Records and was a frequent participant of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, appearing some fifteen times. The singer and songwriter Hazel Dickens was one of the women who changed the face of American country music. In this rare video from 1978, she sings one of her most treasured songs. Directed by Barbara Kopple. solo career began with the soundtrack to an Academy Award-winning documentary film about a violent miner?s strike. Hazel Dickens grew up the eighth of 11 children in a poor mining family in West Virginia. Albums include Classic Mountain Songs From Smithsonian Folkways, Classic Bluegrass From Smithsonian Folkways, and Hand-Picked: 25 Years of Bluegrass Music on Rounder Records. . Albums include Classic Bluegrass From Smithsonian Folkways, Songcatcher, and Classic Labor Songs. Harlan County, USA is a 1976 American documentary film covering the "Brookside Strike" a 1973 effort of 180 coal miners and their wives against the Duke Power Company-owned Eastover Coal Company's Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in Harlan County, southeast Kentucky.It won the Oscar for Best Documentary at the 49th Academy Awards. [6] Dickens began to be seen as an activist and a voice for the working people.[7]. Hazel Jane Dickens, 1 June 1935, Mercer County, West Virginia, USA. Protest and folksinger Hazel Dickens grew up the eighth of 11 children in a large, poor mining family in West Virginia, and she used elements of country and bluegrass to spread truth about two causes close to her heart: the plight of non-unionized mineworkers and feminism, born not of the '60s movement but traditional values. Dickens was featured in a number of films, including Songcatcher; Matewan, about the West Virginia mine wars; and the Oscar-winning Harlan County, U.S.A., for which she wrote original music. Please help us preserve films on American folklife. From the coalfields of West Virginia to the factories of Baltimore, Hazel Dickens has lived the songs she sings. WASHINGTON (AP) - Hazel Dickens, a folk singer and bluegrass musician who advocated for coal miners, has died at age 75. [12][13], Stating that "music saves mountains," fans and supporters of Dickens' activism announced a special memorial, Tribute to West Virginia Music Legend Hazel Dickens at the Charleston, West Virginia Cultural Center on June 5, 2011. Documentary by Mimi Pickering. The New York Times extolled her as "a clarion-voiced advocate for coal miners and working people and a pioneer among women in bluegrass music." During a graphic description of the ravages wrought by pneumoconiosis midway through the documentary, Hazel is heard singing her … Fresh Air remembers the feminist role model with excerpts from a 1987 interview. Hazel Dickens was a musical pioneer for women and the working class. Her songs of hard work, hard times, and hardy souls have bolstered working people at picket lines and union rallies throughout the land. 1998 A Few Old Memories. From the coalfields of West Virginia to the factories of Baltimore, Hazel Dickens has lived the songs she sings. Hazel Dickens : a brief biography by Bill C. Malone --Songs and Memories by Hazel Dickens. In the same year her story was told in the documentary Hazel Dickens: It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song. From this petite, wiry frame came an unexpectedly powerful voice. Biography. 1987 By the Sweat of My Brow. Dickens died Friday morning at a Washington hospice of complications from pn I have sat in music jams with Hazel at local fiddler's conventions hereabouts and always found her to be modest and generous, though naturally her voice dominates where her personality does not. She was herself the subject of a documentary, Hazel Dickens: It’s Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song (2001). Hard To Tell The Singer From The Song profiles a "modern" woman dealing with contemporary issues from a feminist perspective which has evolved from her own experiences, being Appalachian, being displaced physically and culturally, being poor and working class, being a woman artist in a man's world, and being a bearer of tradition. She was 75. [5] In 1978, Dickens performed at the Vandalia Gathering in Charleston, West Virginia, both solo and then with the former coal-miner turned musician, Carl Rutherford. [18][2], a. • Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976). Hazel Dickens grew up in a West Virginia coal-mining community and had a successful career as a bluegrass singer and songwriter. I enjoyed reading it, but was left wanting more background, analysis, and comparisons with other musicians similar to her, either historical or contemporary. "[17], Dickens received the Merit Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association in 1994 and was the first woman to do so. Hazel Dickens discography and songs: Music profile for Hazel Dickens, born 1 June 1935. From the coalfields of West Virginia to the factories of Baltimore, Hazel Dickens has lived the songs she sings. "Hazel Dickens is an icon, and it is about time a book-length biography was published about her. She was the eighth child of an eleven-child mining family in West Virginia. Her music was characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her provocative pro-union, feminist songs. Earl Gilmore, The Rices and Hazel Dickens at Highlander's Coal Mining Music Workshop Cultural blogger John Pietaro noted that "Dickens didn’t just sing the anthems of labor, she lived them and her place on many a picket line, staring down gunfire and goon squads, embedded her into the cause." [2] She met Mike Seeger, younger half-brother of Pete Seeger and founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers and became active in the Baltimore-Washington area bluegrass and folk music scene during the 1960s. Hazel Jane Dickens (June 1, 1925 – April 22, 2011) was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. The biography of Hazel Dickens would appear to follow the typical trajectory of many young rural Appalachian women from rural West Virginia raised in coal-mining communities in the 1950s. In the 1960s, Dickens teamed up with another singer, Alice Gerrard, and together they brought a strong feminist viewpoint to traditional music. Dickens died Friday morning at a Washington hospice of complications from pn ^ Sources vary on birth date; see talk page discussion, American bluegrass musician, singer, and activist, Films in which Dickens contributes to the soundtrack, Hazel Dickens: It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song, International Bluegrass Music Association, "Remembering Hazel Dickens: A Feminist Bluegrass Voice", "Hazel Dickens Inspires New Generation of Musicians", "Harlan County, USA | Big Sky Documentary Film Festival", "Hazel Dickens dies at 75; bluegrass pioneer and social activist", "Strange Creek Singers: Get Aquatinted Waltz - Strange Creek Singers - Songs, Reviews, Credits", "57 Champions of Queer Feminism, All Name-Dropped in One Impossibly Catchy Song", Dickens Discography at Smithsonian Folkways, Criterion Films Collection Harlan County, USA, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hazel_Dickens&oldid=999307128, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "They'll Never Keep Us Down" (Rounder Records, 1976) – for the film, "Busted" / "Old Calloused Hands" (Rounder Records, 1980) – from the album. With Alice Gerrard, Dickens was one of the first women to record a bluegrass album. In the early 1950s she moved to Baltimore. From the Mike Seeger Collection (#20009) On Monday, May 11th, Reel South, a cooperative documentary series among the South’s PBS-member stations, will make the Alice Gerrard documentary You Gave Me A Song available to stream. Folksinger Hazel Dickens, a pioneer for women in bluegrass music, died Friday. Her strong, distinctive voice holds within it the suffering and the life force of her people. Harlan County, USA is a 1976 American documentary film covering the "Brookside Strike" a ... "They'll Never Keep Us Down", written and sung by Hazel Dickens, accompanied by Lamar Grier, John Katarakis, John Otsuka, and Gary Henderson; Reception Critical response. Dickens and Gerrard were bluegrass bandleaders at a time when the vast majority of bluegrass bands were led by men. Remembering Hazel Dickens Born in West Virginia, Hazel Dickens recorded twice for Folkways Records and was a frequent participant of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, appearing some fifteen times. Her music was characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her provocative pro-union, feminist songs. Hazel Dickens passed away. Biography of Hazel Dickens on OLDIES.com. . The duo produced four classic LPs (recently reissued by Rounder on CD) and influenced scores of young women singers — even The Judds acknowledge Hazel and Alice as an important early inspiration. HAZEL DICKENS John Dickens, aged 24, died last evening at her honie on Vino Bt., following two years' Illness of complications.Mrs. Well, in this documentary there is a ton of really great rural music and raw, from-the-soul singing throughout. --Goldenseal "All fans of traditional music and students of feminism, southern culture, and labor movements, should read and revel in Working Girl Blues.--PopMatters She died on April 22, 2011 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. Protest and folksinger Hazel Dickens grew up the eighth of 11 children in a large, poor mining family in West Virginia, and she used elements of country and bluegrass to spread truth about two causes close to her heart: the plight of non-unionized mineworkers and feminism, born not of the '60s movement but traditional values. The book reads like an extended series of conversations with Hazel Dickens herself. The singer and songwriter Hazel Dickens was one of the women who changed the face of American country music. Dickens was the eighth of 11 children in a family that struggled hard to make a living in an area where coalmining was the sole industry. . A pioneering woman in Bluegrass and hardcore country music, Hazel has influenced generations of songwriters and musicians. View their obituary at Legacy.com In her 20’s she moved to the Baltimore area and became very active in the folk- bluegrass music scene in the Baltimore -Washington, D.C. area. Reel South -You Gave Me A Song Hazel Dickens was born in downstate West Virginia in coal country- her family members were coal miners. The documentary film Hazel Dickens: It’s hard to tell the singer from the song (Appalshop, 1987), and Dickens recent autobiography, co-written with country music scholar Bill Malone, Working Girl Blues: the life and music of Hazel Dickens (University of Illinois Press, 2008), provide remarkable insight into the creative life of an artist as Hazel reflects on her own career. New York Times April 22, 2011 Hazel Dickens, Folk Singer, Dies at 75 By BILL FRISKICS-WARREN Hazel Dickens, a clarion-voiced advocate for coal miners and working people and a pioneer among women in bluegrass music, died on Friday in Washington. Known for her high, piercing vocal quality and poignant, topical songwriting, she first gained recognition as one half of the pioneering female bluegrass duo, Hazel and Alice. the filmmaker the distributor Appalshop, Inc., or Folkstreams. In this rare video from 1978, she sings one of her most treasured songs. She grew up near Montcalm, West Virginia, one of 11 children, and moved away in … Dickens was born in Montcalm, Mercer County, West Virginia on June 1, 1925, the eighth of eleven siblings born to a mining family. Hazel Dickens? She didn’t just have a great singing voice or natural talent: she was incredibly observant and intelligent, and it showed. Protest and folksinger Hazel Dickens grew up the eighth of 11 children in a large, poor mining family in West Virginia, and she used elements of country and bluegrass to spread truth about two causes close to her heart: the plight of non-unionized mineworkers and feminism, born not of the '60s movement but traditional values. Other outlets for Hazel’s music were found in the 1986 film Matewan; a 2002 documentary about her life titled for her most recent Rounder release, It’s Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song; and a 1996 trio recording, Heart of a Singer, that paired her with tradition-based performers Carol Elizabeth Jones and … Hazel Dickens’s compelling voice and eloquent songs first reached a large American public in the soundtrack ofHarlan County, USA,a 1976 Academy Award–winning documentary film that told of a protracted and dramatic strike in the eastern Kentucky coalfields. She was the eighth child of an eleven-child mining family in West Virginia. Hazel Dickens was born in Montcalm, Mercer County, West Virginia on June 1, 1925, the eighth of eleven siblings in a mining family of 6 boys and 5 girls. Born in Mercer County, West Virginia on June 1, 1935, Hazel Dickens is considered to be one of the more influential women in bluegrass and traditional folk music. The Washington Post described her as "a living legend of American music, a national treasure," and in 2001, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded her a National Heritage Fellowship. ?Harlan County USA? This is an excerpt from the documentary Hazel Dickens: It’s Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song directed by Mimi Pickering. From this petite, wiry frame came an unexpectedly powerful voice. Genres: Bluegrass, Appalachian Folk Music. ... USA," Barbara Kopple's 1976 Oscar-winning documentary about Kentucky coal miners. Earl Gilmore, The Rices and Hazel Dickens at Highlander's Coal Mining Music Workshop The obituary was featured in Legacy on April 25, 2011. Hazel Dickens: It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song, 2001. Three years later, she contributed to the soundtrack for With Babies and Banners and began a solo career five years later. Hansell, Tom; Beaver, Patricia & Wiley, Angela, (2015). She appeared in the films Matewan and The Songcatcher as well as in the documentary Harlan County USA. Her music was characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her provocative pro-union, feminist songs. Hazel Dickens, a troubadour of hard times whose raw, heartfelt songs about coal miners and the life of the downtrodden made her a revered figure in country and bluegrass music, died April 22 at the Washington Home hospice in the District. There is a short biography, followed by the lyrics of many of Hazel's songs with brief comments from Hazel herself. Hazel Dickens (June 1, 1935, - April 22, 2011, born Mercer County, West Virginia) an American bluegrass singer. MUS. Her piercing vocals power the soundtracks for Harlan County USA and Matewan. Her music is characterized by not only her "high lonesome" singing style, but also by … The cause was complications of pneumonia, said Ken Irwin, her longtime friend… Hazel Dickens : a brief biography by Bill C. Malone --Songs and Memories by Hazel Dickens. The obituary was featured in Legacy on April 25, 2011. This page was last edited on 9 January 2021, at 14:40. [8][9] She also appeared in the films Matewan and Songcatcher. She was married to Joseph S. Cohen. In 2001 she was presented with a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States' highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Many of Hazels's relatives were miners, including her brothers, cousins, and, eventually, her brothers-in-law.[1][2]. Hazel Dickens, Soundtrack: Gifted. [10][11] After her death, it was reported in major media that she had been born on June 1, 1935, but her relatives and public records confirmed the earlier date of June 1, 1925. Bishop.Hcr malden name was Misa Hazel … Hazel Dickens. BIOGRAPHY: Hazel Dickens grew up in the coal-mining country of West Virginia, and the harsh conditions in which her family lived and worked deeply affected her and her art. In this intimate portrait, interviews with Hazel and fellow musicians such as Alison Krauss, Naomi Judd, and Dudley Connell are interwoven with archival footage, recent performances, and 16 powerful songs including “Mama’s Hand,” “ Working Girl Blues,” and “Black Lung.”. Dickens was the first woman to receive the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Merit Award. During this time she also established a collaborative relationship with Mike Seeger's wife, Alice Gerrard, and as "Hazel & Alice" recorded two albums for the Folkways label:[3] Who's That Knocking (And Other Bluegrass Country Music) (1965) and Won't You Come & Sing for Me (1973). Hazel Dickens performing in 2009. Anna Johnson, Darlington rond. Protest and folksinger Hazel Dickens grew up the eighth of 11 children in a large, poor mining family in West Virginia, and she used elements of country and bluegrass to spread truth about two causes close to her heart: the plight of non-unionized mineworkers and feminism, born not of the '60s movement but traditional values. She appeared in the Oscar winning documentary Harlan County, USA, about the struggle of the county's miners union against scab workers, wage rights, and health conditions; sung about on the picket line in her folk songs as well as contributing those four songs to the soundtrack of the film. 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