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Hasil Adkins

Background information
Birth name Hasil Adkins
Born April 29, 1937(1937-04-29)(?)
Boone County, West Virginia
Died April 25, 2005 (aged 67)
Boone County, West Virginia
Genres Rockabilly
Country
Rock and roll
Blues
Occupations Musician
Singer-Songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals, drums, Harmonica, keyboards
Years active 1957 - 2005
Labels Dee Jay Jamboree
Norton
Fat Possum
various
Website http://www.hasiladkins.com

Hasil Adkins (pronounced "Hassle," not "Haysil") (April 29, 1937 – April 25, 2005) was an Appalachian country, rock and roll, and blues musician, though he was frequently considered rockabilly and sometimes primitive jazz. He generally performed as a one-man band, playing guitar and drums at the same time and singing. Hasil was equally skilled on the harmonica and on keyboard.

Contents

Origin

Hasil was born in Boone County, West Virginia, where he lived his entire life. Although many sources list 1937 as his year of birth, Hasil's official website states that the year of his birth is actually unknown, citing "a missing family Bible" that lists his birth as "April 29, 193?." He was the youngest of 10 children, and was both severely depressive and hyperactive. Growing up in a tarpaper shack on property rented from the local coal company, Hasil attended four days of school total and never really worked at anything other than being a musician. He would occasionally repair various items such as cars or washing machines and turn them over for some income. Hasil could fix just about anything he could lay his hands on. Hasil's neighbor was Jesco White, a.k.a. "the Dancin' Outlaw" from Boone County, an Elvis disciple who now openly acknowledges Hasil's influence.

Musical career

Nicknamed "The Haze," Adkins claimed a repertoire of over 9,000 songs including over 7,000 original compositions (though it has been said he has been known to have grossly exaggerated these figures), recorded scores of small, micro-label 45s, and is responsible for the birth of Norton Records, Psychobilly, and a dance called "The Hunch."

His music can be sad, humorous, and/or frantic. He was well known for shrieking certain catchphrases, such as "hot dogs," "I want your head," and "AaaaaaaaaaaaaHeeeeeeeeeeee-Wooo!!!!"

Recurring themes in Adkins' work include love, heartbreak, "hunchin'," police, death, decapitation, hot dogs, aliens, and chicken. Adkins often noted in interviews that his primary heroes and influences were Hank Williams Sr., Jimmie Rodgers, Little Richard, and Col. Harlan Sanders, the inventor of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Some of his best-known songs are "She Said," "No More Hot Dogs," "My Blue Star," "The Hunch," "Beautiful Hills," "We Got A Date," "Chicken Walk", and "Sally Weedy Waddy Woody Wally."

Adkins recorded an entire album devoted to chicken entitled Poultry in Motion that included such songs as "Chicken Run," "Chicken Hop," "Chicken Flop," "Chicken Wobble," and "Chicken On The Bone."

In addition to making many albums and CDs, Hasil Adkins also appeared in several movies and television shows.

Adkins was also the subject of the Julien Nitzberg documentary "The Wild World Of Hasil Adkins," distributed by Appalshop.

Later years and death

After the mid-1990s, Hasil began performing less often, though he retained his popularity with music critics and other celebrants of outsider music, such as Joe Coleman and John Zorn. Hasil Adkins had a strong influence on the band The Cramps, as well as the Flat Duo Jets, who have recorded Hasil. All three bands have played various shows together in different combinations. Adkins' cult status is kept alive to the present day by the growing appreciation of, and demand for, outsider music and primitive rock and roll.

Hasil Adkins made an appearance in the cult film Die You Zombie Bastards! as himself.

On April 15, 2005, Adkins was deliberately run over in his front yard by a teenager on an ATV. [1] The perpetrator was apprehended by police (after running over another person a short distance down the road from Adkins' house), and Adkins identified him in a picture the police showed him. Ten days later, on April 25, Adkins was found dead in his home.

Partial discography

CD releases

  • Out to Hunch, Norton Records.
  • The Wild Man, Norton Records.
  • Peanut Butter Rock and Roll, Norton Records.
  • Moon Over Madison, Norton Records.
  • Chicken Walk, Dee Jay Records (Germany).
  • Look at that Caveman Go!, Norton Records.
  • Live in Chicago, Pravda Records.
  • Achy Breaky Ha Ha Ha, Norton Records.
  • Drinkin My Life Away, Shake It Records
  • What the Hell was I thinking, Fat Possum Records.
  • Poultry in Motion, Norton Records.
  • Night Life, Creeps Records.

LP releases

  • Night Life, Hog Maw Records

References

  • [2] Official biography
  • [3] CMT biography

External links

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