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Info: Hazel Dickens

DigiTrad:
WON'T YOU COME AND SING FOR ME?


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Working Girl Blues (Hazel Dickens) (1)
Lyr Req: Pretty Bird (Hazel Dickens) (10)
Lyr Add: Version: Won't You Come and Sing for Me (4)
Lyr Req: Old River (Hazel Dickens) (4)
Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011) (58)
Jun 5th: Hazel Dickens Memorial Concert WVa (4)
Lyr Add: Don't Put Her Down... (Hazel Dickens) (1)
Lyr Req: Will Jesus Wash the Bloodstains from ... (4)
Lyr Req: Tomorrow's Already Lost (Hazel Dickens) (4)
Folklore: Hazel Dickens bio (5)
Lyr Req: My Heart's Own Love (Hazel Dickens) (5)
Lyr Req: They'll Never Keep Us Down (Hazel Dickens (9)
Lyr Req: Time Is Winding Up (Hazel Dickens) (6)
Lyr Req: Will Jesus Wash the Blood from Your Hands (2) (closed)
BS: I met Hazel Dickens (2) (closed)
Lyr Req: Mama's Hand (Hazel Dickens) (3)
Hazel Dickens, from Sunday's Wash Post (7)
Lyr Req: West Virginia (Hazel Dickens) (15)
Lyr Req: Are They Gonna Make Us Outlaws Again (6)
Lyr Add: You'll Get No More of Me (Hazel Dickens) (8)
Lyr Req: West Virginia, You Are My Home (Dickens) (4)


olddude 08 Apr 08 - 07:40 AM
Morticia 08 Apr 08 - 10:33 AM
Dan Schatz 08 Apr 08 - 11:10 AM
Doc John 08 Apr 08 - 11:42 AM
Ruth Archer 08 Apr 08 - 11:53 AM
Bat Goddess 08 Apr 08 - 02:52 PM
Maryrrf 09 Apr 08 - 10:19 AM
Genie 09 Apr 08 - 06:08 PM
pdq 09 Apr 08 - 09:17 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 10 Apr 08 - 12:32 PM
Dave Illingworth 10 Apr 08 - 12:40 PM
Suzy T. 11 Apr 08 - 12:20 AM
Ruth Archer 11 Apr 08 - 05:36 AM
olddude 11 Apr 08 - 09:41 AM
pdq 11 Apr 08 - 10:32 AM
olddude 11 Apr 08 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,Russ 11 Apr 08 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Russ 11 Apr 08 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 11 Apr 08 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice 11 Apr 08 - 02:07 PM
pdq 11 Apr 08 - 02:12 PM
olddude 11 Apr 08 - 08:13 PM
Janie 11 Apr 08 - 09:03 PM
olddude 11 Apr 08 - 10:06 PM
Janie 11 Apr 08 - 11:55 PM
Janie 12 Apr 08 - 01:13 AM
Severn 12 Apr 08 - 08:50 AM
olddude 12 Apr 08 - 09:00 AM
open mike 12 Apr 08 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Kelly 17 Aug 09 - 09:51 PM
Charley Noble 17 Aug 09 - 10:07 PM
Bill D 17 Aug 09 - 10:10 PM
Janie 17 Aug 09 - 10:42 PM
DADGBE 17 Aug 09 - 11:07 PM
Janie 17 Aug 09 - 11:44 PM
Peace 17 Aug 09 - 11:59 PM
kendall 18 Aug 09 - 06:34 AM
GUEST 18 Aug 09 - 06:57 AM
foggers 18 Aug 09 - 07:24 AM
Charley Noble 18 Aug 09 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 19 Aug 09 - 05:57 AM
Stringsinger 19 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM
Janie 19 Aug 09 - 08:01 PM
Janie 19 Aug 09 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,GuideTone 28 Sep 09 - 10:10 PM
Janie 05 Jun 10 - 01:59 PM
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Subject: BS: Hazel Dickens
From: olddude
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 07:40 AM

Just saw a movie on the independent film channel Harlan County. The film had some great old protest tunes by Hazel Dickens. I completely forgot how great a composer and performer she is. I guess she is still playing from what I read. Anyone know if she is still cranking out the tunes?


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Subject: RE: BS: Hazel Dickens
From: Morticia
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 10:33 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazel_Dickens


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Subject: RE: BS: Hazel Dickens
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 11:10 AM

I saw her a year and a half ago at the National Folk Festival in Virginia and she was wonderful. She is also one of the nicest and most accessible performers I have ever met.

This isn't a BS thread, though - is there a MudElf who can move us above the line?

Dan


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Subject: RE: BS: Hazel Dickens
From: Doc John
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 11:42 AM

I agree. She sings in the film 'Matewan' too: well worth watching for all us lefties!
Doc John


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Subject: RE: BS: Hazel Dickens
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 11:53 AM

There's a CD called Harlan County with loads of those songs on it - possibly a soundtrack from the film? I bought it from iTunes last year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hazel Dickens
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 02:52 PM

Matewan is a wonderful film.

This is definitely a music thread -- hope it gets properly positioned up top.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Hazel Dickens
From: Maryrrf
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 10:19 AM

I too saw her at the National Folk Festival. She's as feisty as ever - still an activist, still belting out those songs!


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Subject: RE: BS: Hazel Dickens
From: Genie
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 06:08 PM

Yes, this thread does belong above the "fold," so to speak.


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Subject: RE: BS: Hazel Dickens
From: pdq
Date: 09 Apr 08 - 09:17 PM

Her is a short poem for her and singing partner:

             When you mention Hazel & Alice

             All I can say is Ugh!

             One has a voice that curdles milk

             The other curdles blood.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 12:32 PM

PDQ?
Is that an abbreviation for Pointless Dimwitted Quote.

Hazel and Alice might not be to your taste but so what.

And believe me you ain't no poet

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Dave Illingworth
Date: 10 Apr 08 - 12:40 PM

I am sorry that "pdq" does not like Hazel Dickens, but I can understand it. She is one of those singers who people love or loathe
- there is not much room for middle ground.
I love her singing and her songs, and have done so for many years, ever since I won a copy of the vinyl LP "Hazel & Alice" on Charlie Gillet's wonderful radio programme "Honky Tonk" on the old BBC Radio London (that's going back nearly 25 years).
As well as the good songs in the excellent film "Matewan", she has also written marvelous songs such as "It's hard to tell the singer from the song", "Old calloused hands", "Scars fron an old love",
"Don't put her down, you helped put her there" and many more.
She also has that magic gift of making other people's songs her own
and really "lives" the lyrics. A bit like an old-timey country Billie Holiday (who "It's hard to tell the singer from the song" could easily have been written about.)
I am sorry I have never heard her in the flesh.
Her old musical partner in Hazel & Alice duo, Alice Gerrard, has also made at least one fine album "Pieces of my heart" (on Copper Creek label). A fine songwriter too - her song "You gave me a song" is one of my all-time favourites.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Suzy T.
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 12:20 AM

For those interested in Hazel Dickens, check out a film which was made about her called "It's Hard To Tell the Singer From the Song". I believe this was made by, and/or distributed by, Appalshop. It's a terrific film with lots of good music!

Also -- who says curdling milk or blood is necessarily bad? What if you like creme fraiche, and have hemophilia??


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 05:36 AM

Billy Bragg's film Which Side Are You On? In which he played benefit gigs for striking American miners in the 80s, was my introduction to Hazel Dickens.

It was a double video with Midnights in Moscow, in which Billy visited Russia in the dying throes of the Soviet regime and again, played some gigs. Both were really interesting films.

I used to have both on a VHS tape which has long since disintegrated, but for people interested in that sort of thing, you can probably get it on DVD now from the online Billy shop.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: olddude
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 09:41 AM

How about "West Virgina my Home"
Grand Lady of Bluegrass in my opinion. People usually hate her or love her but she can write a tune no doubt

Thanks for the info and bringing back some memories

Dan


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: pdq
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 10:32 AM

Hazel Dickens has written some timeless songs. They are typical of old country music, simple and earthy.

"My Better Years", "You'll Get No More of Me, "It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song", "Beyond the River Bend" and "A Few Old Memories" will be around for a long time.

She has little to do with bluegrass. If people keep broadening the term 'bluegrass' it will become meaningless.

She sings lead and needs backup musicians. Bluegrass has complex hormonies, a driving rhythm and sparkling instrumental breaks. Again, Hazel Dickens ain't bluegrass.

I much prefer to listen to Laurie Lewis, Ginger Boatwright, Mary McCaslin and Nanci Griffith. Most of these ladies are closer to bluegrass than Hazel Dicken and are a darned sight more pleasant to listen to, and they have the sense to keep their politics out of their music.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: olddude
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 11:08 AM

Ok wikepedia states in her bio:

"Dickens continues to record and perform to this day. Her voice is still among the most powerful and moving of all bluegrass singers, male or female"

disagree but that is ok to disagree, potato - petatooo great writer by any definition.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 01:31 PM

Hazel Rules.

Her "West Virgina my Home" should be the official state song.

Russ (Permanent GUEST and WV Expat)


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 01:35 PM

When Hazel sings, she sounds like a West Virginian.

Apparently, not everybody finds that acceptable.

Russ (Permaneng GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 01:49 PM

'If people keep broadening the term 'bluegrass' it will become meaningless.'

the process has already started, as it has with other music genres.

Oh and give Trouble In The Fields by Nanci Griffith a listen, a personal and political song.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: GUEST,The Mole Catcher's unplugged Apprentice
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 02:07 PM

....just remembered, Nanci Griffith has also recorded Woody Guthrie's
Do-Re-Mi
to be found Nanci's album, Other Voices, Other Rooms and on the Woody Guthrie album Dust Bowl Ballads.

Charlotte R


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: pdq
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 02:12 PM

Do-Re-Mi by Nanci Griffith is great! Pat Flynn's fingerpicking rocks.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: olddude
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 08:13 PM

Oh my God, did you ever hear Maura O'Connell do Trouble in the Fields? gives me chills, by the way that is one of my favorite songs of all times


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Janie
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 09:03 PM

Hazel sings like a mountain bird, and as so many others have said, is a fine song writer. I know she gets classified as bluegrass, but I don't think that mold fits her very well. Now Phyllis Boyens, I think, probably is closer to bluegrass.

All-in-all, it don't matter what label you put on her. Her voice and songs are a real gift.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: olddude
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 10:06 PM

Point well taken, any disputes about Rhonda Vincents Heartbreakers Alibi. Now no one can argue that isn't Bluegrass! Only mention it cause I am listening to it now.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Janie
Date: 11 Apr 08 - 11:55 PM

"Fly Away Pretty Bird" is a beautiful ballad, and ageless.

I don't think there is a more authentic recording of the hymn "A Few More Years" anywhere, although Mike Cross comes close.

If I do say so myself, my sister and I, (like Russ, we are expat. West Virginians) do an able rendition of "West Virginia, You Are My Home."

Russ, don't know that it should be the State song, but it definitely should be the State song for all of us who have gone but left a big piece of our hearts in those old hills.

I also particularly like to do "Custom-made Woman Blues."

I have to say I don't much like the straight bluegrass stuff she does. (And I like bluegrass, especially old bluegrass that still had a lot of hillbilly in it.) There are a couple of clips of Hazel on Youtube with a bluegrass band that I don't like at all. She is at her best singing with passion, and damps that down when with a band full of "hot licks" bluegrass musicians playing double time.

As an aside, Alice Gerard lives near me and is an acquaintance. I don't think she is at her best with bluegrass either.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Janie
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 01:13 AM

A nice little piece of work on YouTube.

Profile of Hazel Dickens, Part I

From there, link to part II.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Severn
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 08:50 AM

Hazel & Alice's first two recordings on Folkways are definitely Bluegrass, with the likes of a young David Grisman and Chubby Wise playing backup. Some of the Strange Creek Singers material on Arhoolie is Bluegrass. Hazel performs from time to time with Dudley Connell of Johnson Mt. Boys, Longview and Seldom Scene fame. In her early years, she played in Bluegrass bands around Baltimore with Mike Seeger. How good she is at it, of course, is all up to your personal opinion, but at times, she's definitely an established Bluegrass performer as well as an Old Timey one and a singer-songwriter.

Some still like their Bluegrass by someone with an actual touch of the mountains in their voice. If "pleasant to listen to" was the only criteria, I'd have to scrap a lot of recordings by source singers, Blues, Bluegrass, Old Timey, Cowboy, Ballad Singers (US and Brittish Isles) etc. Satisfying, instructional, challenging and rewarding don't have to be pleasant. We're talking Folk Music here, which often includes material too folky for Folk and too country for Country.

So this would not be a matter of broadening the term of Bluegrass, so much as narrowing it. Ralph Stanley and Don Stover mix or mixed old time tunes and original material in with their Bluegrass, and someonr like Laurie Lewis can work the Irish McPeake Family's "My Singing Bird" into her music and make it sound like it belongs there.
The instrumentation and harmonies of Hazel's music are not being really removed from Bluegrass as much as some of the younger bands playing today. You like her or you don't, but she's been a part and remains a part of Bluegrass as well as one with older forms and songwriting.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: olddude
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 09:00 AM

Amen
you said it all!


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: open mike
Date: 12 Apr 08 - 02:56 PM

I can just hear "Hello Stranger, let a working girl sit down..."
http://hazeldickens.calabashmusic.com/
there is a new c.d. from e-bay with Hazel and Alice on it.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: GUEST,Kelly
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 09:51 PM

Sorry, I just couldn't help to reply to this that I stumbled upon. Of course I was doing a query on Hazel Dickens which I absolutely LOVE! Her voice has been dubbed as 'high lonesome'. To me, being from the hills of Tennessee and the Appalachian region, I just call it singin'. Didn't bluegrass really orginate from the hill folk? It was songs passed down or just made up about life and might I add boredom!It's not so much about the 'prettiness' sort of speak, but the pitch and feelings. (Just my opinion here, and we all know about them!) Today's bluegrass has, to me, gone in a different direction, or maybe it's just as simple as the appalachian style folk/ballad/bluegrass and today's mix. Anyways, thanks and was great to read so many still listen and love Hazel. I would love to see this woman before one of leaves here.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 10:07 PM

I must have been out of town when this thread surfaced. A number of the Hazel & Alice songs have stuck with me through the years including "You Gave Me a Song" and "The Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 10:10 PM

"Didn't bluegrass really orginate from the hill folk?"

Well...country music and Appalachian music did. Bluegrass as a category was sorta 'invented' by some bands who needed a name for their new style....like Bill Monroe.

The old style that Hazel Dickens is a product of is still very alive and doing its thing, while **Bluegrass** has become a production and almost a stereotype of itself.
Places like the West Virginia Music festival and the annual Augusta Heritage series at Davis & Elkins College still feature the 'old' music a lot.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Janie
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 10:42 PM

Actually, Charlie, "Green Rolling Hills" was written by Utah Phillips. I'm guessing you meant to type "West Virginia, You are My Home:>)"


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: DADGBE
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 11:07 PM

Hazel Dickens carries on a great tradition of political old style mountain singers. Sy Kahn, Aunt Molly Jackson and many others have helped keep the flame alive.

This may be a bit of thread creep but the back-up singer on 'West Virginia...' was the great bluegrass singer Gene Yellin. He still plays and sings in the Northeast.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Janie
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 11:44 PM

Or maybe not, Charlie.

Although Utah Phillips wrote the song you referenced, Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard did record it on Hazel & Alice.    The Emmy Lou Harris recording is nice, but being a West Virginia Hillbilly myself, I prefer Hazel and Alice's recording myself, and perhaps you were, indeed, referring to their rendition of the Utah Phillips song, and not the the song written by Hazel Dickens to which I referred.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Peace
Date: 17 Aug 09 - 11:59 PM

"Hazel Dickens's Awards
Award of Merit, International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), 1993; induction, Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music Association (SPBGMA) Hall of Greats, 1995; Best Bluegrass Female Vocalist Award, Washington Area Music Association (WAMA), 1998; honorary doctorate degree, Shepherd College, 1998.



Read more: http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608003111/Hazel-Dickens.html#ixzz0OVHfhxI6   "


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: kendall
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 06:34 AM

Did you say Ginger Boatright? I love her voice. It has a resonance that I find rare in female singers.
What ever happened to her?


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 06:57 AM

"If people keep broadening the term 'bluegrass' it will become meaningless."

This has been an unsolvable issue from the start of bluegrass's existence. Bluegrass is a hybrid music. Ralph Stanley doesn't like being described as bluegrass - he calls it old-time or mountain music. I can see why, too: if you get too fundamentalist about what is or isn't bluegrass you'd end up listening to a very monotonous procession of variations of I-IV-I-V chord progressions with entirely standardized sequences of fiddle, mandolin and banjo solos. Mostly in the key of G major.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: foggers
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 07:24 AM

As a latecomer to American music I only learned about Hazel a couple of years ago. I bought a "Cherryholmes" album and loved the track "Working girl Blues" which is one of hers. So (thanks to the wonders of the internet) I soon tracked down some of her albums and I think she is an absolute treasure, for her voice, her music and her politics.

Thanks for the YouTube links too - really good.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Aug 09 - 07:48 AM

Janie-

Yep!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 05:57 AM

Re the question "What happened to Ginger Boatwright?". If my memory ain't playing tricks, I believe she had a CD released recently. You could check this out on the county sales website www.countysales.com
I'm pretty sure I saw it there or maybe reviewed in Bluegrass Unlimited.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 06:01 PM

Bluegrass came from Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. It originated in the gas fields of Indiana. Scruggs popularized the unique banjo style in the South. It's connection to Kentucky is by name only. It started in the Forties.

Hazel Dickens retains the manner of singing that is Appalachian such as Almeda Riddle,
Sara Ogan Gunning, Horton Barker, Texas Gladden, Aunt Molly Jackson, Nimrod Workman, and for many it is an acquired taste.

I think that her passion, integrity as to who she is and her compassion for human suffering speaks for itself.

She is not a glamor puss. She is not a comfortable fit for modern bluegrass but it is
clear that she recognizes the roots of bluegrass in earlier country music.

When I first heard the Stanley Brothers and Ralph Mayo in early 1950's traveling with Guy Carawan and Jack Elliott at (I think) the Old Cotillion Barn Dance at the radio station in Wheeling, West VA, I realized how close they were to the Appalachian tradition of string band music. They were just fresh youngsters in those days and they blew me away! I think Hugh Cherry was the announcer on that program. As I recall, they were not introduced as bluegrass musicians. Dr. Stanley is right in that his roots grow deeper.
Bluegrass is a Johnny-come-lately, Appalachian mountain music is a rich tradition.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Janie
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 08:01 PM

Glad to hear you say that, Frank. And I was even gladder to read that Ralph Stanley doesn't think of himself as "Bluegrass."   Although Hazel and Ralph Stanley, among some others have been "stamped" with the Bluegrass label, I've always had problems with them being catagorized pretty exclusively as that.   

It is good to hear you mention Nimrod Workman. Not many seem to remember him. His daughter, Phyllis Boyens, has a fine voice too, but she tends to sound old-time country, or old-time tinged Bluegrass, more so than Appalachian mountain

Perhaps because I am Appalachian hillbilly myself, and grew up listening to my grandfather singing his a capella hymns in a fine mountain voice, there is no style of singing voice that moves me as much.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Janie
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 08:31 PM

I'd probably include Jean Ritchie on your list of examples.

I am no expert or student of the the differences and similarities among regions of the central and southern Appalachians. But it seems to me there are subtle differences in quality of voice, diction, ornamentation, and tonality to the Appalachian area of southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and the extreme southwest of Virginia (and perhaps a tiny northeast corner of Tennessee) from that of the mountain voices of North Carolina, southwest Virginia from, say Galax, east, and the extreme northwest tip of Georgia.

I'm wondering if it has to do, at least in part, with gradations of nasal mountain twang and southern drawl.


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: GUEST,GuideTone
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 10:10 PM

I am a fairly recent Hazel Dickens fan who just stumbled upon this discussion. Nice to see others who appreciate her music. I wanted to let you know that Rounder Records is in the process of releasing a beautiful tribute project of Hazel's songs performed by an amazing roster of musicians. Folks like Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Joan Osborne, Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash and Madeleine Peyroux. The project is being produced by bassist Todd Phillips and has been in the works for several years. I had the honor and privilege of playing piano on three tracks. You can read more about it at Todd's website: www.toddphillipsmusic.com


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Subject: RE: Hazel Dickens
From: Janie
Date: 05 Jun 10 - 01:59 PM

I don't know much, but friends in WV recently told me that Hazel has been experiencing mini-strokes that have impacted her musically. Very sorry to hear that.


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