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Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)

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)
Jun 5th: Hazel Dickens Memorial Concert WVa (4)
Lyr Add: Don't Put Her Down... (Hazel Dickens) (1)
Info: Hazel Dickens (46)
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)


Nancy King 22 Apr 11 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,Padre, sans cookie 22 Apr 11 - 10:37 AM
topical tom 22 Apr 11 - 10:49 AM
Dan Schatz 22 Apr 11 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Russ 22 Apr 11 - 11:51 AM
catspaw49 22 Apr 11 - 01:10 PM
RoyH (Burl) 22 Apr 11 - 02:50 PM
Genie 22 Apr 11 - 03:23 PM
Genie 22 Apr 11 - 03:31 PM
Desert Dancer 22 Apr 11 - 04:58 PM
ChanteyLass 22 Apr 11 - 05:13 PM
Stringsinger 22 Apr 11 - 06:16 PM
katlaughing 22 Apr 11 - 06:38 PM
Janie 22 Apr 11 - 07:08 PM
Janie 22 Apr 11 - 07:24 PM
SINSULL 22 Apr 11 - 08:27 PM
Mark Ross 22 Apr 11 - 08:32 PM
Ron Davies 22 Apr 11 - 09:19 PM
Stewie 22 Apr 11 - 10:16 PM
Genie 22 Apr 11 - 10:52 PM
Art Thieme 23 Apr 11 - 01:32 AM
2581 23 Apr 11 - 02:52 AM
Ebbie 23 Apr 11 - 02:55 AM
Amergin 23 Apr 11 - 08:22 AM
Charley Noble 23 Apr 11 - 10:43 AM
Janie 23 Apr 11 - 10:46 AM
Desert Dancer 23 Apr 11 - 11:16 AM
Desert Dancer 23 Apr 11 - 11:22 AM
Desert Dancer 23 Apr 11 - 11:33 AM
open mike 23 Apr 11 - 02:06 PM
Janie 23 Apr 11 - 02:57 PM
catspaw49 23 Apr 11 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,steve s 23 Apr 11 - 07:29 PM
Janie 23 Apr 11 - 08:23 PM
2581 23 Apr 11 - 08:29 PM
Desert Dancer 23 Apr 11 - 08:43 PM
Janie 23 Apr 11 - 09:25 PM
GUEST,The Familey of Hazel Dickens 24 Apr 11 - 02:50 AM
GUEST 24 Apr 11 - 04:31 AM
Janie 24 Apr 11 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,C. Ham 24 Apr 11 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,kendall 24 Apr 11 - 03:22 PM
Janie 24 Apr 11 - 05:10 PM
Desert Dancer 24 Apr 11 - 05:58 PM
Janie 24 Apr 11 - 06:20 PM
Desert Dancer 24 Apr 11 - 08:41 PM
Nancy King 24 Apr 11 - 11:43 PM
MoorleyMan 25 Apr 11 - 05:16 PM
Desert Dancer 28 Apr 11 - 11:41 AM
Desert Dancer 29 Apr 11 - 11:33 AM
Janie 29 Apr 11 - 08:09 PM
Janie 29 Apr 11 - 11:25 PM
Desert Dancer 04 May 11 - 03:34 PM
Newport Boy 23 May 11 - 05:00 PM
YorkshireYankee 24 May 11 - 03:35 PM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 13 - 03:19 AM
Dave Illingworth 24 Apr 13 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 24 Apr 13 - 01:46 PM
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Subject: Obit: Hazel Dickens
From: Nancy King
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 10:18 AM

Just heard (via Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer on Facebook) that Hazel Dickens has died. No details at this point.

What a sad loss. Hazel was a woman of indomitable spirit, a wonderfully engaging performer, and a first-class songwriter. Thanks for the music, Hazel.

--Nancy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens
From: GUEST,Padre, sans cookie
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 10:37 AM

Rest easy, Hazel - among The Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens
From: topical tom
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 10:49 AM

Thanks for all the great old-time music. I will sorely miss it. RIP, Hazel.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 11:16 AM

Sad, sad news.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 11:51 AM

Hard to bear.

None better than Hazel.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 01:10 PM

All of the above.......very sad.


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1935-2011)-died April 22
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 02:50 PM

Another of the great ones gone. This lady really could sing! Rest In Peace. Condolences to her family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1935-2011)-died April 22
From: Genie
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 03:23 PM

Yes, what all of you have said.   And 76 is too young.
Thanks for the fine music, Hazel.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1935-2011)-died April 22
From: Genie
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 03:31 PM

From Cecil Roberts, UMWA president, today:

"The hearts and prayers of UMWA members and our families are with the family of our great friend, Hazel Dickens.

Hazel was a real inspiration to coal miners everywhere. She was always supportive of better jobs, better lives and a better future for coal miners and our communities, and didn't mind saying so. She was a strong, clear voice when we needed one, and was never at a loss for words when it came to describing the hard lives miners and their families endured.

Hazel supported the UMWA throughout her career. When we were on strike, she raised money to feed our families. When we were organizing, she sent messages of support and encouragement. When we fought to eliminate black lung disease, she stood with us.

Hazel was a child of the coalfields, yet she was a sister to us all. We will miss her terribly."

http://blogs.wvgazette.com/coaltattoo/2011/04/22/sad-news-hazel-dickens-has-died/


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1935-2011)-died April 22
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 04:58 PM

Hazel Dickens, Bluegrass And Folk Singer, Has Died - a short item on NPR, with links to a YouTube of a West Virginia PBS profile.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1935-2011)-died April 22
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 05:13 PM

Oh, sad.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1935-2011)-died April 22
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 06:16 PM

From the standpoint of important singers of the labor movement, the passing of Hazel Dickens is sad for many reasons. The tradition for early labor movement music is slowly dying out although there are many singer-songwriters today who are writing topical material, their style is not traditional rural. There are a few left like Si Kahn but the further away from the era when coal mining strikes and labor struggles left a legacy, the less people in this generation know about it. Haywire Mac, Joe Hill, Aunt Molly Jackson, Florence Reese, John Handcox, and others have left the planet but left us their important songs. Jean Ritchie is still with us, an important songwriter, her songs depicts the labor struggles of the coal miner. There is a legacy here that is extremely important to preserve.

It's fine for a contemporary songwriter to pen relevant songs but that reflects a new era in not only songwriting but performance style. Hazel's haunting voice and warm reflection of America's working class heroes in the mines is now gone and a tremendous loss. We have her recordings.

There seems to still be a vibrant labor songwriting tradition and performance in the UK
and Ireland.

She will be missed and we all know which side she was on.

They say in West Virginia
At the Upper Branch Mine
Massey Energy takes its toll
But the miners hold the line.

Which side are you on? Which side are you on?

Don't listen to Don Blankenship
And his Massey energy lies
Miners today don't stand a chance
unless they organize.

Which side are you on? Which side are you on?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1935-2011)-died April 22
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 06:38 PM

How sad and such a loss.

Just A Few Old Memories...

RIP,


kat


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1935-2011)-died April 22
From: Janie
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 07:08 PM

I heard the news just a little while ago, listening to NPR on the way home from work.

She was the real deal, in all respects. The NPR piece noted her influence on many, famous American female country and bluegrass singers. And many of us know of her influence on many of the fine singers of old-time and Appalachian-style a capella ballads that are "stars" in our much smaller "folk" universe. I'm glad of that. But Russ will know what I mean, and perhaps some others, when I say that with her passing, a species has gone extinct.

While Hazel was a fine musician, she never allowed the rawness and authenticity to be prettied-up.    And whether she was singing an old ballad or one of her own compositions, she was singing about what she knew, and what she knew to be true.

The NPR piece closed with Hazel singing Pretty Bird, which I think is one of the finest examples of her a capella singing, as well as a fine example of her writing.

The tears keep welling up....


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 07:24 PM

The Mannington Mine Disaster


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 08:27 PM

RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 08:32 PM

After she played a show for the Folklore Center in NYC at Washington Square Methodist Church, she heard me yodep. She immediately sat down and wrote out the words to Hobo Bill's Last Ride, and taught it to me on the spot. A great lady, and a wonderful performer, and songwriter. One of the best voices in bluegrass, male or female.


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Ron Davies
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 09:19 PM

She was just wonderful.   Set a really high standard for good gutsy singing, and as she put it, "hard-hitting songs". For hard-hit people, I think was the rest.

For the longest time I was convinced she had written "Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia".

She did write "West Virginia, My Home", didn't she?--which is just a deathless classic.

I still think the Hazel-Aiice recordings are a perfect example of the best in bluegrass duet singing.

I was lucky enough to live in the same tenants' co-op, in DC, where she lived for a while, and I saw her--a very few times--there.

She always had far more important things to do than to stay in the co-op. I'm sure she was in huge demand all over the US.

What a shame she's gone.

But her music is certainly immortal.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 10:16 PM

Vale to a fine and important singer/writer.

Here's a beaut tribute to her from a few years ago by Ron Thomason of the Dry Branch Fire Squad.

Black Lung.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Genie
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 10:52 PM

Yes, she did write "West Virginia, My Home." A wonderful song. (I posted a link earlier in this thread to her singing it.)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 01:32 AM

So sorry to hear this. In my mind I will always think of Hazel and Alice Girard together.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: 2581
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 02:52 AM

Although she was a brilliant songwriter, singer & activist, Hazel was humble and unpretentious... as authentic as the coal seams of her native West Virginia. The coal miners of America owe Hazel a huge debt of gratitute. We will never see the likes of her again.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 02:55 AM

Aw. A remarkable woman. I am so sorry she is gone. I love just about every song of hers I ever heard.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Amergin
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 08:22 AM

I first heard her singing, while watching Matewan in the chow hall of the boat I was working on. My captain was a former IBU organiser, and Matewan was his favourite movie. Her singing voice struck me with it's raw power, untamed untrained beauty and feeling. It was the voice of some one who lived, breathed, saw, the stories and the people she sung of. She was a true voice of the people. I just wish I could have seen her live...and have met the woman behind the powerful voice.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 10:43 AM

She certainly will be missed.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 10:46 AM

Fine obituary in The Washington Post.

Because links don't last, I'll also cut and paste it, even though it is quite long.

From the Washington Post (posted on-line 4/22/2011, probably in the print addition 4/23/2011)

Hazel Dickens, bluegrass pioneer who sang of miners and downtrodden, dies at 75
   
By Matt Schudel, Friday, April 22, 8:37 PM

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. She was 75 and had complications from pneumonia.

Ms. Dickens, who grew up in a three-room shack in West Virginia's coal country, was a forceful voice of the working class, singing with unguarded emotion of poverty, labor and loss. She often appeared at union rallies and benefits for mineworkers, and her plaintive singing was heard in the Oscar-winning documentary "Harlan County U.S.A." (1976) and John Sayles's 1987 coal-mining drama "Matewan."

"When I'm at my best is when I'm belting it out and giving it all I've got," Hazel Dickens told The Washington Post in 1981.

"She is one of the absolutely finest and [most] authentic singers we have," music historian Charles Wolfe told The Washington Post in 2001. "Her singing has not only that 'high lonesome sound,' but you can hear the pain and anguish and the anger in it. It is absolutely heartfelt and sincere."

Having supported herself since she was 16, Ms. Dickens brought a bracing real-world perspective to bluegrass songwriting and was among the first to address the plight of women in the workplace. She and her onetime singing partner, Alice Gerrard, were identified with the burgeoning women's movement of the 1960s with such songs as "Working Girl Blues" and "Don't Put Her Down, You Helped Put Her There," about a woman mistreated by men.

An autobiographical song Ms. Dickens wrote in the early 1980s, "Mama's Hand," about leaving a mining town with "one old paper bag full of hand-me-downs," was named bluegrass song of the year in 1996, after it appeared on an album by the Lynn Morris Band.

Ms. Dickens released a handful of albums during her lifetime — including two with Gerrard and three solo efforts — but she became a favorite performer at folk and bluegrass festivals and exerted a strong influence on such later singers as Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris and the Judds.

According to Ken Irwin, a founder of Rounder Records, a tribute album is in preparation, with Ms. Dickens's songs performed by such diverse artists as Harris, Elvis Costello, Linda Ronstadt, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Rosanne Cash. A new album of unreleased music by Ms. Dickens is also nearly complete.

Although she made her home in Washington for more than 40 years, Ms. Dickens always stayed true to the sound and spirit of the mountains of West Virginia.

Her rough-hewn, keening singing style grew out of her early experiences in her father's Primitive Baptist church, where musical instruments were not allowed, and from a mountain tradition that included singers Aunt Molly Jackson and Sarah Ogan Gunning.

"When I'm at my best is when I'm belting it out and giving it all I've got," Ms. Dickens told The Post in 1981. "It's not a smooth style, it's all feeling and emotion."

Hazel Jane Dickens was born June 1, 1935, in Montcalm, W.Va., the eighth of 11 children. Besides his weekend preaching, her father played banjo and drove a truck delivering timber to the mines.

The family lived in dire poverty. Three of her brothers died from mining-related illnesses.

"One whole winter," Ms. Dickens recalled to The Post, "I had to stay in the house because I didn't have a coat."

But there was always music, whether in church or listening to the Carter Family or the Monroe Brothers on the radio.

At 16, Ms. Dickens moved with her parents to Baltimore to find work and to be close to a brother who was being treated for tuberculosis.

With earnings from jobs as a waitress, a factory worker and store clerk, she bought a guitar and a stand-up bass and soon began to perform in local hillbilly bands.

At a tuberculosis sanitarium, she met Mike Seeger, the half-brother of folk giant Pete Seeger, and they began to work together. She later toured with folk singer Joan Baez before forming a group with Gerrard, a classically trained singer.

When Ms. Dickens began to write songs about her world of "hard-working people who just got by from pay to pay," as she put it in one of her songs, she was as "surprised as anyone else."

"She forever raised the bar for bluegrass writing," Dudley Connell, a guitarist with the venerable bluegrass group Seldom Scene, said Friday.

In 1970, after her marriage to Joseph S. Cohen ended in divorce, Ms. Dickens moved to Washington. A brother is her only immediate survivor.

She gained wide recognition in 1976, when director Barbara Kopple asked Ms. Dickens to sing four songs for her documentary about a coal-mine strike, "Harlan County U.S.A." Ms. Dickens donated her singing for free "because I knew Barbara was about $60,000 in debt on the project, and I badly wanted to see it get into theaters."

Her rousing finale, "They'll Never Keep Us Down," became an anthem for miners and union workers.

After managing a Mexican import shop in Georgetown, Ms. Dickens gave up her day job in 1979 to concentrate on music. Her first solo album, "Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People," came out in 1981, followed by "By the Sweat of My Brow" (1984) and "It's Hard to Tell the Singer From the Song" (1986).

She often appeared at the National Festival of American Folk Life, received a National Heritage fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and was the subject of a documentary.

In 1987, Ms. Dickens appeared in a haunting graveyard scene singing "Beautiful Hills of Galilee" in "Matewan," Sayles's film about union organizing in West Virginia in the 1920s.

Ms. Dickens gave her final public performance March 16 at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, which typically attracts new music and a younger crowd. When a frail 75-year-old stepped on stage with her guitar, the young audience didn't know what to expect.

"At South by Southwest, she had the Hazel swagger going," said Connell, who played guitar alongside her that night. "She pinned them to the wall, buddy, I'm not kidding you. My guess is their mouths are still open."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 11:16 AM

Hazel Dickens, Folk Singer, Dies at 75

By Bill Friskics-Warren
The New York Times
April 22, 2011

The cause was complications of pneumonia, said Ken Irwin, her longtime friend and the founder of Rounder Records, her label for more than four decades.

Ms. Dickens's initial impact came as a member of Hazel and Alice, a vocal and instrumental duo with Alice Gerrard, a classically trained singer with a passion for the American vernacular music on which Ms. Dickens was raised. Featuring Ms. Dickens on upright bass and Ms. Gerrard on acoustic guitar, Hazel and Alice toured widely on the folk and bluegrass circuits during the 1960s and '70s, captivating audiences with their bold, forceful harmonies and their empathetic approach to songs of struggle and heartbreak.

They recorded four albums during this period, the first of which, "Who's That Knocking," for Folkways in 1965, is considered one of the earliest bluegrass records made by women. All-female string bands like the Coon Creek Girls had been popular before the emergence of bluegrass in the 1940s and '50s, and female country singers like Rose Maddox and Jean Shepard occasionally released bluegrass-themed projects. But Hazel and Alice were expressly a bluegrass act, using the same tenor- and lead-vocal arrangements as many of their male counterparts.

Ms. Dickens reflected on her early days on the bluegrass circuit with Ms. Gerrard in a 1999 interview for the American roots music magazine No Depression. "I'm not sure if they looked at us as a novelty, or if they took us seriously," she said of the male acts with whom they shared bills. But, she added, "There were a lot of them, especially down through the years, that gave us respect."

The influence of the staunchly traditional duo extended beyond bluegrass to commercial country music. Hazel and Alice's arrangement of the Carter Family's "Hello Stranger" became the blueprint for Emmylou Harris's version of the song, and their adaption of "The Sweetest Gift (A Mother's Smile)" inspired Naomi Judd, then a single mother in rural Kentucky, to start singing with her daughter Wynonna.

Long revered by feminists, Ms. Dickens's music, and especially her songwriting, assumed an even more political cast almost as soon as she began pursuing a solo career in the wake of the duo's breakup in 1976. Several of her songs, including "Coal Tattoo" and the rousing organizer's anthem "They Never Keep Us Down," served as the musical voice of conscience for Barbara Kopple's Oscar-winning 1976 documentary, "Harlan County, U.S.A."

Whether she performed solo or with a country-style band, Ms. Dickens's atavistic mountain inflection and delivery were inimitable, and never so much as when she sang a cappella on "Black Lung," a harrowing dirge she wrote for her oldest brother, who died of that disease. In 1987 she sang another a cappella ballad, "Hills of Galilee," during a funeral scene in "Matewan," John Sayles's movie about coal mining in Appalachia.

Hazel Jane Dickens was born June 1, 1935, in Mercer County, W.Va. One of 11 children, she grew up in a family whose survival depended on the coal industry. Her father, a Primitive Baptist preacher and a forceful singer, hauled timber to feed the household. Her brothers were miners and one of her sisters cleaned house for a supervisor at the mines. The music they sang in church and heard on the radio, particularly the music of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, offered one of their few diversions.

She moved to Baltimore in the early 1950s and worked in factories there. City living was hardly more prosperous than the life she'd known in the coal fields of Mercer County, but it did afford her exposure to the larger social and political world. She met and started playing music with the singer and folklorist Mike Seeger, who eventually introduced her to Ms. Gerrard.

In 1994 Ms. Dickens became the first woman to receive the International Bluegrass Music Association's Merit Award for contributions to the idiom. She was later inducted into the organization's Hall of Honor. Ms. Dickens received many other awards, including a National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2008. She also collaborated with Bill Malone on a book about her life and music, "Working Girl Blues," published by the University of Illinois Press the same year.

No immediate family members survive.

A reluctant feminist role model, Ms. Dickens said she was originally scared to write about issues like sexism and the oppression of women.

"I can remember the first time I sang 'Don't Put Her Down, You Helped Put Here There,' " she said in her 1999 No Depression interview. "I was at a party standing in the middle of all these men. It was here in Washington. Bob Siggins was playing banjo, and when I got done, everyone just looked at each other, and Bob said, 'That's a nice song, but I won't be able to sing it.' And I said, 'Of course you can.' "

"We were writing about our own experience," she explained. "They were things we needed to say."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 11:22 AM

Janie's link to the Washington Post got clipped - here it is, fixed: Washington Post obituary

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 11:33 AM

Hazel Dickens' 2001 National Heritage Fellowship profile page, including a lengthy interview

(The NY Times had the year of the Fellowship award wrong.)

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: open mike
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 02:06 PM

Here is Hot Rize doing one of her songs...Won't You Come & Sing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEKqKZE67LY&feature=related


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 02:57 PM

Thanks for fixing the WP link, Becky.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 03:40 PM

Its really good to see the Times and Post obits......very well done and not a blurb that so often happens. She deserved those (and even more) but its good to see......if you know what I mean.

ALSO......Great post Janie

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: GUEST,steve s
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 07:29 PM

it's hard to tell the singer from the song

good bye hazel

we will follow you...one by one

s.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 08:23 PM

Stewie, thanks for the link to Ron Thomason singing Black Lung. Beautiful job.

I see he is from the Clinch Mountain region of Virginia which ain't far from Mercer Co., WV.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: 2581
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 08:29 PM

There was one other error in the NY Times obit. Hazel sang "Coal Tattoo" in "Harlan County USA", and a great version it was, but it's not her song. It was written,of course, by Billy Edd Wheeler.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 08:43 PM

Yeah, I thought about mentioning that one to the Times, too, but I thought that there was a small chance that "her song" might possibly be interpreted as "her performance".

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 23 Apr 11 - 09:25 PM

Back Porch Music (WUNC radio) is right now doing a tribute segment to Hazel. It will probably be brief, but if you want to listen, now streaming - iTunes/News & Talk Radio, North Carolina Public Radio.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: GUEST,The Familey of Hazel Dickens
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 02:50 AM

On behalf of our Family I would like to thank everyone for the warm and caring out pour of condolences. Hazel was a wonderful person and will be sadly missed by each of us.
The Family of Hazel Dickens


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 04:31 AM

Amazing singer, amazing woman. Very sad.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 09:13 AM

And another remembrance from the Charleston Gazette.

Country Music legend Hazel Dickens dies


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: GUEST,C. Ham
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 02:23 PM

Mike Regenstreif wrote about Hazel Dickens on the Folk Roots/Folk Branches blog


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 03:22 PM

We did a folk festival in 1977. She was an outstanding performer that no one who heard her could ever forget.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 05:10 PM

Family of Hazel Dickens,

Thanks so much for taking the time to post here.   I'm imagining the reunion of family and friends that so often happens on the occasion of the death of a loved one. Aunts, Uncles, cousins, grand nieces and nephews, and a few good friends who may only come together once every several years, usually for occasions such as this. Coming from near and from far. And when we do, the ties of family and blood, and shared memories passed down through generations are celebrated and reinforced.

The last gift of the family member who has passed, if we are fortunate, is the gift of reminding us that we are parts of a family with a shared history and a shared legacy that shapes each of us and those who will come after us.   Your Hazel happened to be well-known and well-admired among many of us who never knew her personally. Thanks for sharing her with us.

At my own family gatherings at times such as these, there is much laughter, family singing together who haven't been together in decades, and general catching up with the lives of the grandkids of 2nd cousins. Truly a time of celebration of not just the life of our family member who has passed, but a celebration and renewal of family.

May it be so for you.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 05:58 PM

The Charleston Gazette article links this page at the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame site that has a variety of resources about Hazel Dickens.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 06:20 PM

Wasn't that a good biography Kate Long wrote from her interviews with Hazel on the WVMHF website?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 08:41 PM

Janie, yes, it was. It downloads as a .pdf, 5 pages. Don't be shy about it, folks: click that link.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Nancy King
Date: 24 Apr 11 - 11:43 PM

Nice one, Janie.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 25 Apr 11 - 05:16 PM

How sad. A superb songwriter and a remarkable lady. RIP Hazel.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 11:41 AM

Ross Altman has written a good article at Folkworks.com.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 11:33 AM

Hazel Dickens on Mountain Stage with Tim and Molly O'Brien, on NPR - a 4-song, 20-minute segment.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 08:09 PM

Thanks or both of those links, Becky.

The Mountain Stage performance was from 1997, and a pretty good one. In the last couple of years, I understand she was developing some dementia as well as having other health problems. The really recent youtube videos from 2008 on, are not the best examples of her live performances (though I'm glad they are documented.)

I wondered where she would be buried. She has been gone from West Virginia a long time, and I don't know if some of her 10 siblings stayed in West Virginia or not. The article accompanying the Mountain Stage tribute section says she was buried April 26, in Princeton, the county seat of Mercer Co., WV.

Rest in Peace, Pretty Bird.

Home at last.



Rest in Peace


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Janie
Date: 29 Apr 11 - 11:25 PM

Art T.,

I agree. Hazel and Alice Gerrard, together, at that time, were, as Amos is wont to say, a "force of nature." And those two albums well stand the test of time. "Hazel&Alice," is on my top 10 list of favorite albums of all time, and maybe hold the number one spot.

Alice Gerrard, btw, has also continued to make fine music and to write fine songs.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 04 May 11 - 03:34 PM

FYI, Ross Altman has revised his Folkworks article, linked a few posts above, to correct his description of the movie, Songcatcher, in which Hazel appeared.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Newport Boy
Date: 23 May 11 - 05:00 PM

Email today from Smithsonian Folkways has this link to an old clip.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 24 May 11 - 03:35 PM

Catch this short (not quite 10 min) film about Hazel & her music on YouTube; looks like it was put together by the Folk Alliance in 2002,
when they gave her their annual Folk Alliance International Lifetime Achievement Award.

The accompanying write-up says:
"Uploaded by FolkAlliance on Nov 16, 2010

"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. She grew up near Montcalm, West Virginia, one of 11 children, and moved away in her teens to work in the factories of Baltimore. What is different about Hazel Dickens is that she transformed this experience into the inspiration and material for a life-long musical career that has spoken of hard work, hard times, and hardy souls. Songs she has penned such as "Working Girl Blues," "Black Lung," "Don't Put Her Down, You Helped Put Her There," and "West Virginia, My Home," have provided the narrative storyline and emotional insight for many who have found themselves in similar circumstances. Marrying the songwriting abilities of Woody Guthrie with the straight-ahead singing skills of Kitty Wells, she has been an inspiration for a whole new generation of women singers in the bluegrass and country music fields. Her music became more widely known through the use of her songs in the movie Harlan County, U.S.A. and as a result of her live performance of songs in Matewan. Now a resident of Washington, D.C., Hazel Dickens' life and music are inextricably intertwined. As she says in the title song of a recent film documentary about her life produced by Appalshop, It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song".

Having seen many mentions of her song Don't Put Her Down (You Helped Put Her There) while following various links above
(but never having actually heard it), I decided to find it & have a listen. Great Stuff! (Also came across this fine rendition.
Don't know who the singer is, but I think she's done a brilliant job.)

Did a Mudcat search on to see if I could find the lyrics, and came across (amongst other things)
a link with a lovely long article from the Washington Post, 2001, and which also includes
a link to some great photos (& also an audio excerpt of "Don't Put her Down...")

(Somewhat to my surprise, DPHD(YHPHT) does not appear to be in the DT already;
as I've now found the lyrics, I've posted them in a separate LYR ADD thread.)

All in all, a truly inspirational woman and an inspirational life.


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Subject: Hazel Dickens Discography
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 03:19 AM

Somebody asked me for a discography of Hazel Dickens recordings, with track listings. Here's what I've come up with so far. Except for the three albums noted (a compilation and two albums now sold as one), all these recordings are for sale at Amazon as MP3 or CD, or both.

Hazel Dickens Discography

Albums Recorded With Alice Gerrard

Who's That Knocking (1965) (no longer available)
    Walkin' In My Sleep
    Can't You Hear Me Calling
    Darling Nellie Across The Sea
    Difficult Run
    Coal Miner's Blues
    Gabriel's Call
    Just Another Broken Heart
    Take Me Back To Tulsa
    Who's That Knocking?
    Cowboy Jim
    Long Black Veil
    Lee Highway Blues
    Lover's Return
    Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar
    I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling

Strange Creek Singers (Arhoolie, 1970) – Also with Mike Seeger and Tracy Schwarz
    1. When I Can Read My Titles Clear
    2. In The Pines
    3. Sunny Side Of Life
    4. Poor Old Dirt Farmer
    5. Sally Ann
    6. I Truly Understand That You Love Another
    7. Old Black Choo Choo
    8. Today Has Been A Lonesome Day
    9. No Never No
    10. New River Train
    11. Get Acquainted Waltz
    12. Will The Circle Be Unbroken
    13. Black Lung
    14. Difficult Run Pt. 2

Won't You Come & Sing for Me (1973) (no longer available)
    I Just Got Wise
    Please Mommy Please
    T.B. Blues
    Sugar Free Stomp (Instrumental)
    Memories Of Mother & Dad
    Train On The Island
    Won't You Come & Sing For Me?
    A Tiny Broken Heart
    A Distant Land To Roam
    John Henry (Instrumental)
    Weary Lonesome Blues
    The One I Love Is Gone

Hazel & Alice (Rounder Records, 1973)
    1. Mining Camp Blues
    2. Hello Stranger
    3. The Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia
    4. A Few More Years Shall Roll
    5. Two Soldiers
    6. The Sweetest Gift A Mother's Smile
    7. Tomorrow I'll Be Gone
    8. My Better Years
    9. Custom Made Woman Blues
    10. Don't Put Her Down You Helped Put Her There
    11. You Gave Me A Song
    12. Pretty Bird
    13. Gallop to Kansas

Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard (Rounder Records, 1975)
    1. Let That Liar Alone
    2. When I Loved You
    3. Working Girl Blues
    4. West Virginia My Home
    5. Mama's Gonna Stay
    6. Montana Cowboy
    7. Mean Papa Blues
    8. Nice Like That
    9. Mary Johnson
    10. Ramblin' Woman
    11. Beaufort County Jail
    12. Banjo Picking Girl
    13. James Alley Blues
    14. True Life Blues

Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard: Pioneering Women of Bluegrass (Smithsonian Folkways, 1996) – Re-mastered and re-sequenced compilation of "Who's That Knocking" and "Won't You Come & Sing For Me"
    1. TB Blues [or They're at Rest Together] (Walter Callahan)
    2. The One I Love is Gone (Bill Monroe)
    3. Who's That Knocking? (Traditional)
    4. Walkin' in My Sleep (Traditional)
    5. Won't You Come and Sing for Me (Hazel Dickens)
    6. Can't You Hear Me Calling (Bill Monroe)
    7. Darling Nellie Across the Sea (A.P. Carter)
    8. Coal Miner's Blues (A.P. Carter)
    9. Sugar Tree Stomp (Arthur Smith)
    10. Train on the Island (songwriter not listed in CD booklet)
    11. Cowboy Jim (Hazel Dickens)
    12. Lee Highway Blues (songwriter not listed)
    13. Memories of Mother and Dad (Bill Monroe)
    14. Long Black Veil (Wilkin/Dill)
    15. Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar (Delmore Brothers)
    16. Difficult Run (Lamar Grier)
    17. Mommy Please Stay Home with Me (Arnold/Hall/Fowler)
    18. Gabriel's Call (Hazel Dickens A&J Foster, M. Marash)
    19. Just Another Broken Heart (A.P. Carter)
    20. A Distant Land to Roam (A.P. Carter)
    21. John Henry (songwriter not listed/trad)
    22. I Just Got Wise (Carter Stanley)
    23. Lover's Return (A.P. Carter)
    24. A Tiny Broken Heart (Charlie and Ira Louvin with Ed Hill)
    25. Take Me Back to Tulsa (Wills/Duncan)
    26. I Hear a Sweet Voice Calling (Bill Monroe)


Solo albums

Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People (Rounder Records, 1981)
    1. Busted (Harlan Howard)
    2. Aragon Mill (Si Kahn)
    3. Old Calloused Hands (Hazel Dickens)
    4. Scraps From Your Table (Hazel Dickens)
    5. Out Among the Stars (Adam Mitchell)
    6. West Virginia My Home (Hazel Dickens)
    7. Tomorrow's Already Lost (Hazel Dickens)
    8. Lonesome Pine Special (Sarah Carter)
    9. Lost Patterns (Hazel Dickens)
    10. Beautiful Hills of Galilee (Traditional)
    11. Rocking Chair Blues (Hazel Dickens)
    12. They'll Never Keep Us Down (Hazel Dickens)

By the Sweat of My Brow (Rounder Records, 1984)
    1. Beyond the River Bend
    2. Only the Lonely
    3. By the Sweat of My Brow
    4. Mama's Hand
    5. Little Lenaldo
    6. Are They Gonna Make Us Outlaws Again?
    7. Go Away with Me
    8. Your Greedy Heart
    9. Scars from an Old Love
    10. The Ballad of Ira Hayes
    11. Old and In the Way
    12. Here Today and Gone Tomorrow

It's Hard to Tell the Singer From the Song (Rounder Records, 1986)
    1. You'll Get No More Of Me
    2. A Few Old Memories
    3. Do Memories Haunt You?
    4. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
    5. Hills Of Home
    6. Don't Bother To Cry
    7. It's Hard To Tell The Singer From The Song
    8. Only A Hobo
    9. Will Jesus Wash The Bloodstains From Your Hands?
    10. California Cottonfields
    11. Play Us A Waltz

A Few Old Memories (Rounder Records, 1987) – Compilation "best of" first three albums (no longer available)
    A Few Old Memories (Hazel Dickens)
    Beyond the River Bend (Hazel Dickens)
    Busted (Harlan Howard)
    Old and in the Way (Traditional)
    It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song (Hazel Dickens)
    Don't Bother to Cry (Bob Merrill)
    Hills of Home (Hazel Dickens)
    Pretty Bird (Hazel Dickens)
    Only the Lonely (Hazel Dickens / Joe Melson / Roy Orbison)
    Coal Tattoo (Billy Edd Wheeler)
    Little Lenaldo (Hazel Dickens)
    Old Calloused Hands (Hazel Dickens)
    Scars from an Old Love (Hazel Dickens)
    You'll Get No More of Me (Hazel Dickens)
    Mama's Hand (Hazel Dickens)
    Working Girl Blues (Hazel Dickens)
    West Virginia, My Home (Hazel Dickens)
    Play Us a Waltz (Charlie Maguire)

With Carol Elizabeth Jones, Ginny Hawker

Heart of a Singer (Rounder Records, 1993/1998)
    1. Forsaken Lover
    2. Lay Me to Rest
    3. Not a Word of That Be Said
    4. Old Memories Mean Nothing to Me
    5. Love Me or Leave Me Alone
    6. Times Are Not What They Used to Be
    7. Faded Pressed Rose
    8. Jealous Heart
    9. Old River
    10. I Can't Find Your Love Anymore
    11. Let Me Go
    12. Time is Winding Up
    13. Coming Down from God


Sources of information:
    allmusic.com
    amazon.mudcat.org
    http://www.discogs.com/
    Wikipedia.org
    Smithsonian Folkways and Rounder


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: Dave Illingworth
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 11:37 AM

Thanks Joe (and whoever asked for the discography).
Very useful.   A great singer.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Hazel Dickens (1 Jun 1935 - 22 April 2011)
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 01:46 PM

Her solidarity with coal miners makes her loss another blow to miners everywhere. I never met her but on behalf of the miners of my own County Durham, England, which was devastated by the awful woman who died last week, may I say that Hazel Dickens had more humanity in her little finger than Thatcher had in her whole lifetime. R.I P. Hazel Dickens.


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