Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rounder Celebrates Hazel's 76th Birthday!

We received a note from Rounder's Vice President of Promotions, Brad Paul, saying that rounder was going to help Hazel Dickens fans celebrate all week by making a special download available to all broadcasters.  Rounder has provided 18 previously released recordings from Hazel's compilation CD "A Few Old Memories" available for download on Airplay Direct.

Dear Bluegrass and Folk DJ’s,
 

As you probably know our dear friend Hazel Dickens passed away on April 22nd.    Today would have been her 76th birthday.   We have posted Hazel’s Rounder compilation CD, A Few Old Memories for easy download for radio airplay in case you  are interested in paying tribute this week to one of folk and bluegrass music’s great songwriters and performers on the occasion of her birthday.  
Rounder will also post some of Hazel’s songs that were recorded by various artists on Rounder including Dry Branch Fire Squad, James King and The Johnson Mountain Boys.  Broadcasters should be able to download those files later today.

In his note, Brad Paul, also included the words that Marian Leighton Levy, one of the original founders of Rounder Records, wrote on the day of Hazel's passing:

"A native West Virginian, Hazel Dickens was awarded a special Lifetime Achievement Award from the Governor of that state, presented to her by Alison Krauss, who was deeply influenced by Hazel's music and by her great dignity, presence, and wry sense of humor.  Hazel received many awards over the course of her career, including a National Heritage Award.  She was virtually an icon at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco, where she was one of a handful of artists to have performed there each and every year since its inception.
 She was active right up to the very end of her life, just last month having attended SXSW in Austin, at the behest of her good friend Warren Hellman, to be the ambassador for this year's Hardly Strictly, which she had every intention of attending as always.  Hazel also collaborated with Bill Malone on his excellent book about her life and music, called Working Girl Blues (University of Illinois Press). 
Before Rounder existed, we all loved Hazel's work with the Strange Creek Singers on Folkways, and were thrilled and honored -- some of our most exciting memories -- when Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard agreed to record the Hazel & Alice records for us, from which Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou picked "The Sweetest Gift A Mother's Smile" to record on their own.  Many of Hazel's songs have been recorded by artists of all different musical backgrounds, but nowhere more revered than in the bluegrass world.
 As great a songwriter as she was and as unique a vocal stylist, she was even more a person of impeccable musical taste, and a great spirit.  There will never be another like Hazel."  
Read Ron Thomason's eulogy for Hazel

 

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