Saturday, April 23, 2011
– Bluegrass and folk singer Hazel Dickens died at 75 on Friday in Washington from complications from pneumonia.
Dickens was known for being a member of Hazel and Alice with Alice Gerrard. The duo toured extensively in the bluegrass and folk circuit in the 1960s and 19070s. They recorded four albums in that period, including "Who's That Knocking" in 1965. The disc was considered one of the earliest bluegrass discs from women.
Dickens went solo after she and Gerrard split in 1976. She recorded albums for Rounder Records.
Dickens was born in Mercer Country, West Va. on June 1, 1935 in coal country, something she would later write about in her songs. She later moved to Baltimore and met Mike Seeger, who introduced her to Gerrard.
Dickens was inducted into the IBMA's Hall of Honor. She also received a National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2008. A book about her life and music, "Working Girl Blues," by Bill Malone came out that same year.