Monday, April 25, 2011

Song of the Day: Hazel Dickens, "A Few Old Memories"

Since I haven't had time to blog much at all lately, I've missed mentioning the deaths of a couple of my favorite musicians. My next couple of posts, which should come in consecutive days I hope, will address this.

The first is the great bluegrass singer Hazel Dickens. One of the first women to break through the extremely patriarchal bluegrass music scene, her band with Alice Gerard in the 1960s was amazing. She went on to record several excellent solo albums with powerful songs about the people of Appalachia. Some of these songs were deeply political, either pro-feminist or anti-coal. Others, such as "A Few Old Memories" are timeless songs of loss, a topic particularly relevant to the people of Appalachia who have moved to other parts of the country for work since at least the 1920s. Here is her Times obituary.