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Hazel Dickens dies at 75; bluegrass pioneer and social activist
Hazel Dickens dies at 75; bluegrass pioneer and social activist

Hazel Dickens, a singer, songwriter and musician from West Virginia who was a pioneering force in bluegrass music and a strong and eloquent voice for coal miners, the poor and women, has died. She was 75. Dickens died April 22 at a Washington, D.C., hospice of complications from pneumonia, said Ken Irwin, a founder of Rounder Records, her longtime label. "She wrote about migrant workers, women being wronged, whatever hit her … that needed to be addressed," Irwin said. "She was largely the social conscience of the bluegrass world." Dickens became a fixture on the bluegrass circuit in the 1960s and '70s with her musical partner, Alice Gerrard, and continued as...

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