Hazel Jane Dickens (June 1, 1925 – April 22, 2011) was an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist and guitarist. Her music was characterised not only by her high, lonesome singing style, but also by her provocative pro-union, feminist songs.

Cultural blogger John Pietaro noted that ‘Dickens didn’t just sing the anthems of labour, she lived them and her place on many a picket line, staring down gunfire and goon squads, embedded her into the cause’. The New York Times extolled her as ‘a clarion-voiced advocate for coal miners and working people and a pioneer among women in bluegrass music’.

Hazel often collaborated with Alice Gerrard, and together they were some of the first women to record a bluegrass album.

About this Contributor

Contributor type
Minutes created
Christmas #6, GRC4 #59

Minutes by Hazel Dickens