Reel South -You Gave Me A Song . WASHINGTON (AP) - Hazel Dickens, a folk singer and bluegrass musician who advocated for coal miners, has died at age 75. 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. Three years later, she contributed to the soundtrack for With Babies and Banners and began a solo career five years later. 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. 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). The obituary was featured in Legacy on April 25, 2011. The songs in the clip are the powerful and moving “Mannington Mines” and “They’ll Never Keep Us Down.” Hazel Dickens: It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song, 2001. 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. 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. [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. 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. Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard discography and songs: Music profile for Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard. [2], Dickens used her music to try and make a difference in the lives of non-unionized mine workers and feminists. Hazel Dickens (June 1, 1935, - April 22, 2011, born Mercer County, West Virginia) an American bluegrass singer. This is an excerpt from the documentary Hazel Dickens: It’s Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song directed by Mimi Pickering. 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. 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. The two separated in 1973 -- two later albums were compiled from previous recordings -- and Dickens began her solo career with a flourish. Albums include Classic Mountain Songs From Smithsonian Folkways, Classic Bluegrass From Smithsonian Folkways, and Hand-Picked: 25 Years of Bluegrass Music on Rounder Records. HAZEL DICKENS John Dickens, aged 24, died last evening at her honie on Vino Bt., following two years' Illness of complications.Mrs. Her strong, distinctive voice holds within it the suffering and the life force of her people. During a graphic description of the ravages wrought by pneumoconiosis midway through the documentary, Hazel is heard singing her … ... USA," Barbara Kopple's 1976 Oscar-winning documentary about Kentucky coal miners. In the early 1950s she moved to Baltimore. 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. Albums include Classic Bluegrass From Smithsonian Folkways, Songcatcher, and Classic Labor Songs. In the 1960s, Dickens teamed up with another singer, Alice Gerrard, and together they brought a strong feminist viewpoint to traditional music. Her music was characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her provocative pro-union, feminist songs. Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard, 1975. View their obituary at Legacy.com Folksinger Hazel Dickens, a pioneer for women in bluegrass music, died Friday. Hazel Dickens was a musical pioneer for women and the working class. 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. Starting in the early 1960s with singing partner Hazel Dickens, she helped open the doors for a host of up-and-coming women performers and entrepreneurs in the fields of bluegrass and old-time music. Genres: Bluegrass, Appalachian Folk Music. Courtesy of Appalshop. From the coalfields of West Virginia to the factories of Baltimore, Hazel Dickens has lived the songs she sings. 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 … 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. [6] Dickens began to be seen as an activist and a voice for the working people.[7]. A treat for friends and fans." Dickens died Friday morning at a Washington hospice of complications from pn 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. Her music was characterized not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her provocative pro-union, feminist songs. She was 75. Biography. Her songs of hard work, hard times, and hardy souls have bolstered working people at picket lines and union rallies throughout the land. [8][9] She also appeared in the films Matewan and Songcatcher. She didn’t just have a great singing voice or natural talent: she was incredibly observant and intelligent, and it showed. She was 75. 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. 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. Hazel Jane Dickens (June 1, 1925 – April 22, 2011) was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. 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 singer and songwriter Hazel Dickens was one of the women who changed the face of American country music. She was the eighth child of an eleven-child mining family in West Virginia. Hazel Jane Dickens (June 1, 1925 – April 22, 2011) was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. [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. Seeger introduced Gerrard to Hazel Dickens, a West Virginia-born singer living in Baltimore, Maryland who had a passion for classic Appalachian folk songs. ?Harlan County USA? Hazel Dickens was born on June 1, 1935 in Montcalm, West Virginia, USA as Hazel Jane Dickens. She was the eighth child of an eleven-child mining family in West Virginia. 1987 It's Hard to Tell the Singer From the Song. This page was last edited on 9 January 2021, at 14:40. 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. 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 book reads like an extended series of conversations with Hazel Dickens herself. 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.