Hey Lady #9: Karen Dalton
Karen Dalton (1937-1993) was a Cherokee folk blues singer, guitarist and banjo player. Spending her early life in Texas and Oklahoma, she became part of the Greenwich Village music scene in the 1960’s. Playing in folk clubs and singing with Bob Dylan, he was once quoted as saying she was his favorite singer.
Exclusively performing songs written by others, she brought herself to them with her unique singing. You can hear her whole life in her voice, which holds its lived experience in its sweet and sad sound. She didn’t follow a conventional path of success in the music scene, but rather led an authentic, creative and mysterious life.
She recorded two albums in her lifetime, Its So Hard to Tell Who’s Going to Love You the Best (1969) and In My Own Time (1977). She died at age 55 of AIDS in Woodstock, New York. Since then her albums have been reissued and four other releases of her work have been made. The cover photo is from the back of the album 1966 which are collected songs released in 2012 by Delmore Recordings.