Working Girl Blues: The Life and Music of Hazel Dickens

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University of Illinois Press, Oct 1, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 144 pages
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Hazel Dickens was an Appalachian singer and songwriter known for her superb musicianship, feminist country songs, union anthems, and blue-collar laments. Growing up in a West Virginia coal mining community, she drew on the mountain music and repertoire of her family and neighbors when establishing her own vibrant and powerful vocal style that is a trademark in old-time, bluegrass, and traditional country circles. Working Girl Blues presents forty original songs that Hazel Dickens wrote about coal mining, labor issues, personal relationships, and her life and family in Appalachia. Conveying sensitivity, determination, and feistiness, Dickens comments on each song, explaining how she came to write them and what they meant and continue to mean to her. Bill C. Malone's introduction traces Dickens's life, musical career, and development as a songwriter, In addition, Working Girl Blues features forty-one illustrations and a detailed discography of Dickens's commercial recordings.

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Working girl blues: the life and music of Hazel Dickens

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Still churning out songs "that challenge the easy complacency and corporate arrogance of our time," influential Appalachian singer-songwriter Hazel Dickens has devoted her life to writing music not ... Read full review


A Brief Biography by Bill C Malone
Illustrations follow page 30
Songs and Memories by Hazel Dickens
Illustrations follow page 86
A Hazel Dickens Discography

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About the author (2010)

Hazel Dickens (1925-2011) was a bluegrass and folk music singer and guitarist. She was the first woman to receive the Merit Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Bill C. Malone is a professor emeritus of history at Tulane University. His books include Country Music U.S.A. and Don't Get above Your Raisin': Country Music and the Southern Working Class.

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