Bluegrass legend Hazel Dickens used her music to tell people about the plight of coal miners and working women in the South, serving as "the musical voice of conscience" for Barbara Kopple’s Oscar-winning 1976 documentary, “Harlan County, U.S.A.” She has also been called the voice of the Appalachians. Listen:
Dickens died Friday in Washington. Here's a great NPR audio story which says "Hazel Dickens' influence on generations of country and bluegrass musicians is undisputed, from Emmylou Harris to Alison Krauss." Plus the New York Times obit and her bio at the Kennedy Center of the Arts.