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Bluegrass pioneer Hazel Dickens dies

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Singer-guitarist-songwriter Hazel Dickens, a pioneer among women in bluegrass music, died Friday, reports the New York Times. She was 75. Several of Dickens’ songs, including “Coal Tattoo” and “They’ll Never Keep Us Down,” were used in Barbara Kopple’s Oscar-winning 1976 documentary Harlan County, U.S.A. Dickens grew up in a coal-mining family in Mercer County, West Virginia and performed with Alice Gerrard as the duo Hazel and Alice throughout the ’60s and ’70s before beginning a solo career. Dickens was the first woman to receive the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Merit Award in 1994.

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