Hazel Dickens

Scope: 

This pathfinder serves as a starting point for the researcher looking to find more information on Hazel Dickens, her music, her songwriting, and subsequently the causes she supports. Born in Mercer County, West Virginia on June 1, 1935, Hazel Dickens is considered to be one of the more influential women in bluegrass and traditional folk music. 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. She then went on to record solo albums for Rounder Records and was featured in films and documentaries. Today, many women in both bluegrass and country, including Emmylou Harris and The Judds, cite Hazel as a major influence.

Introductory Text: 

Tate, Linda. "Hazel Dickens." Encyclopedia of Appalachia. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2006. (p.p. 1143-1144) ASU SPEC APP COLL F106 .E53 2006

A good introduction to the groundbreaking work Hazel did with musical partner Alice Gerrard in the 1960's and 1970's can be found in the liner notes in Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard: Pioneering Women of Bluegrass (liner notes by Bill Vernon, Neil Rosenberg, Alice Gerrard, and Hazel Dickens):

Dickens, Hazel and Gerrard, Alice. Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard: Pioneering Women of Bluegrass. Washington, DC: Smithsonian/Folkways, 1996. ASU SPEC APP COLL CD #70.

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant:

  • Dickens, Hazel
  • Folk Musicians - West Virginia - Biography
  • Women Bluegrass Musicians - West Virginia - Biography

Also Relevant:

  • Coal Mines and Mining - Songs and Music
  • Coal Miner's - Kentucky - Harlan Women
  • Coal Miners - United States - Songs and Music
  • Country Musicians - United States - Biography
  • Feminism and Music
  • Folk Music - United States - Biography
  • Protest Songs
  • Women Bluegrass Musicians

More General:

  • Bluegrass Music
  • Bluegrass Music - 1971-1980
  • Bluegrass Music - 1981-1990
  • Country Music
  • Country Music - History and Criticism
  • Country Music - 1971-1980
  • Country Music - 1981-1990
  • Country Music - 1991-2000
  • Country Music - Encyclopedias
  • Folk Music - United States
  • Folk Songs, English - United States
  • Folk Music - Appalachian Regions - Southern

Related:

  • Documentary Films - United States
  • Folk Music - Discography
  • Songs - United States
Clipping Files Subject Headings - W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 
  • Music - Appalachia
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • ML 102
  • ML 420
  • ML 3545
  • HD 5325
  • HD 8039
  • ML 3524
  • ML 82
  • ML 3524
Books: 

Dickens, Hazel and Malone, Bill C. Working Girl Blues: The Life and Music of Hazel Dickens. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2008. ASU SPEC APP COLL ML 420.D547 A3 2008.

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Bufwack, Mary A. and Robert K. Oermann. Finding Her Voice: Women in Country Music, 1800-2000. Nashville: Country Music Foundation Press. 2003. (p.p. 300-301) ASU MUSIC STACKS ML3524 .B83 2003.

Kingsbury, Paul, ed. The Encyclopedia of Country Music: The Ultimate Guide to the Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. (p.146) ASU SPEC APP COLL OVSZ ML102.C7 E54 1998.

Tate, Linda. "Hazel Dickens." Encyclopedia of Appalachia. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2006. (p.p. 1143-1144) ASU SPEC APP COLL F106 .E53 2006

Abstracts and Indices: 

Note: Good search terms are, but not limited to, Hazel Dickens, women + bluegrass, coal mining songs

RILM Abstracts of Musical Literature: http://newfirstsearch.oclc.org/

MLA Basic Search: http://newfirstsearch.oclc.org

Music Index Online: http://0-www.hppmusicindex.com.wncln.wncln.org/brs/searchSimple.jsp

Arts and Humanities Search: http://newfirstsearch.oclc.org

America: Life and History: http://search.ebscohost.com

Journals: 

Although Hazel Dickens herself is featured only occasionally, journals such as Bluegrass Unlimited, Southern Exposure, and Sing Out contain articles that relate to her background and the type of music that she performs.

Bluegrass Unlimited. Broad Run, Va. [etc.], Bluegrass Unlimited. 1967- present. (Monthly). ASU SPEC APP COLL ML1. B68

Sing Out. New York City, N.Y.: Peoples Artists, 1950 - present (quarterly) ASU SPEC APP COLL ML .S588

Southern Exposure. Institute for Southern Studies. Durham, N.C [etc.]: Institute for Southern Studies, 1973 - present (quarterly) ASU SPEC APP COLL F206 .S653X

Websites: 
Audio and Video Sources: 

Dickens, Hazel. Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People. Somerville, MA: Rounder Records. 1980. ASU SPEC APP COLL REC ML3545 .A317 Rec. #559.

Dickens, Hazel and Gerrard, Alice. Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard: Pioneering Women of Bluegrass. Washington, DC: Smithsonian/Folkways, 1996. ASU SPEC APP COLL CD #70.

Pickering, Mimi. Hazel Dickens: It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song. Whitesburg, Ky: Appalshop, 2001. ASU SPEC APP COLL VC 472. (Video)

Compiled by: 

Compiler: Coty Hogue, 3 November 2009

Subject: