Learn more about Hazel Dickens Tribute with Karen Collins.
Join us on Friday, July 7, 7:00 p.m. as we feature singer Karen Collins in a musical tribute to the legendary West Virginia singer, songwriter, and activist, Hazel Dickens.
This program will introduce the audience to the life and legacy of Hazel Dickens with Karen performing some of Hazel’s best loved songs including, “Working Girl Blues,” “Black Lung,” and “A Few Old Memories.” Karen’s husband Fred Feinstein will be backing her on mandolin, and Curatorial Specialist Toni Doman will share details about Hazel’s life within the context of the museum’s current special exhibit, I’ve Endured: Women in Old-Time Music.
Audience members are invited to participate in a curator-led tour of the special exhibit pre-show at 6:15pm.
About Karen Collins
Karen, a coal miner’s daughter, grew up listening to country music in Southwest Virginia. After moving to the Washington, DC area, she founded the award-winning Cajun band Squeeze Bayou, the Blue Moon Cowgirls (an acoustic country quartet), and the honky tonk Backroads Band. Karen’s early influences are evident in her original songs, which echo Loretta Lynn’s no-nonsense sass, Hank Williams’ down-to-earth lyricism, Ernest Tubb’s wry humor, and more. As a singer and bandleader, Karen has received many “Wammie” awards from the Washington Area Music Association, and her originals have earned her awards from a half-dozen songwriting competitions.
About Hazel Dickens
Hazel Dickens grew up in Mercer County, West Virginia, one of 11 siblings in pure coal country. She moved to Baltimore in the 1950s and fell into a group of musical friends that included Mike Seeger, Alice Gerrard, and others. Steeped in activism, Hazel’s songs spoke truth to power about black lung, equality for women, the labor movement, and poverty, drawing on the sounds of Baptist hymns, Appalachian ballads, and country harmonies by groups such as the Louvin Brothers. Her musical partnership with Alice Gerrard broke new ground for women, influencing many generations to come. A few of Hazel’s best-known compositions are “West Virginia, My Home,” “Hills of Home,” “They’ll Never Keep Us Down,” and “Don’t Put Her Down, You Helped Put Her There.” Her music is included in the films Harlan County, USA, Matewan, and Songcatcher. Hazel received an International Bluegrass Music Association Merit Award in 1994 and became a National Heritage Fellow in 2001.