Hazel Dickens 1935-2011 R.I.P.


Acclaimed bluegrass
and folk artist performed up until the time of her death.


By Fred Mills


Bluegrass and folk music
mainstay Hazel Dickens passed away Friday, April 22, at the age of 75. The
cause of death was pneumonia-related complications.


The West Virgina native had gotten her start on the Baltimore
and Washington music scenes in the early ‘60s, going on to form the popular bluegrass
duo Hazel & Alice
with fellow singer-songwriter Alice Gerrard (Mike Seeger’s wife). Among her key
influences were Uncle Dave Macon, the Monroe Brothers and the Carter Family.
She also played with a number of prominent bluegrass bands, including the
Greenbriar Boys.


Her music also experienced a revival in the late ‘70s
following the release of 1976 Oscar-winning film Harlan County, USA which featured a number of her songs. She
recorded for both the Folkways and the Rounder label and continued to perform
up until the time of her death, including this year’s South By Southwest music



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