Working Girl Blues

Working Girl Blues : The Life and Music of Hazel Dickens

4.26 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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Hazel Dickens is an Appalachian singer and songwriter known for her superb musicianship, feminist country songs, union anthems, and blue-collar laments. Growing up in a West Virginia coal mining community, she drew on the mountain music and repertoire of her family and neighbors when establishing her own vibrant and powerful vocal style that is a trademark in old-time, bluegrass, and traditional country circles. Working Girl Blues presents forty original songs that Hazel Dickens wrote about coal mining, labor issues, personal relationships, and her life and family in Appalachia. Conveying sensitivity, determination, and feistiness, Dickens comments on each of her songs, explaining how she came to write them and what they meant and continue to mean to her. Bill C. Malone's introduction traces Dickens's life, musical career, and development as a songwriter, and the book features forty-one illustrations and a detailed discography of her commercial more

Product details

  • Hardback | 144 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19.05mm | 362.87g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252033043
  • 9780252033049

Review quote

"Dickens comments generously on each song, revealing her strong personality... A fine profile of a roots musician who has been a pioneering woman in bluegrass as well as the foremost American protest singer of the later twentieth century."--Booklist "Inspiring... highly readable and ultimately unforgettable."--Bluegrass Now "[This] volume does a marvelous job of capturing the essence of Hazel."--Sing Out "Dickens' lyrics and thoughts on the likes of 'Mama's Hand,' 'It's Hard to Tell the Singer From the Song' and the book's title song blend the personal and the political in remarkable ways, and they're the heart of this substantial story."--American Songwriter "Working Girl Blues puts the spotlight on a magnificent performer whose accomplishments and talents have always been valued by the country, bluegrass and folk audiences, but now hopefully will get the same acclaim from the mainstream as well."--Nashville City Paper "This is an important study of a seminal country performer and songwriter. Highly recommended."--Choice "Hazel Dickens is an icon, and it is about time a book-length biography was published about her... A treat for friends and fans."--Goldenseal "A solid and readable account of a career that crossed many boundaries and defied expectations."--Journal of Folklore Researchshow more

About Hazel Dickens

Bill C. Malone is a professor emeritus of history at Tulane University. He is the author of several books, including Don't Get above Your Raisin': Country Music and the Southern Working more

Rating details

26 ratings
4.26 out of 5 stars
5 50% (13)
4 27% (7)
3 23% (6)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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