Courtesy of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame
With heavy hearts we mourn the loss of the remarkable, influential singer and songwriter from West Virginia Hazel Dickens, who passed away April 21, 2011.
Her unmistakable voice was synonymous with the mountains of West Virginia and the hard working spirit that she carried with her throughout her life. Her influence cannot be overstated, having been recognized by the likes of Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and countless others, while her topical material, from "Black Lung" to "Working Girl Blues," remains relevant.
Hazel was on our 400th episode of Mountain Stage, and she was inducted in to the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame's inaugural class in 2007, presented with a heartfelt tribute by Alison Krauss.
When we recorded in Glasgow, Scotland Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore performed her composition "West Virginia, My Home," accompanied by Tim O'Brien, which we've posted here in her honor. The breadth of her influence was felt again a few weeks later when the song was performed in a post-show jam led by Great American Taxi's Vince Herman in Morgantown, W.
"West Virginia, My Home" by Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore with Tim O'Brien.
When Kathy Mattea first appeared on Mountain Stage with songs from her album "Coal," she closed with a powerful, unaccompanied version of Dickens' "Black Lung," which drew a standing ovation. That performance is posted here as well.
Kathy Mattea's a cappella treatment of Dickens' "Black Lung."