Hasil Adkins

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Hasil Adkins
Background information
Birth nameHasil Adkins
Born(1937-04-29)April 29, 1937
Boone County, West Virginia, United States
DiedApril 25, 2005(2005-04-25) (aged 67)
Boone County, West Virginia, United States
GenresRockabilly
Country
Rock and roll
Blues
Psychobilly
OccupationsMusician
Singer-Songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals, drums, Harmonica, keyboards
Years active1957–2005
LabelsDee Jay Jamboree
Norton
Fat Possum
various
Websitewww.hasiladkins.com
 
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Hasil Adkins
Background information
Birth nameHasil Adkins
Born(1937-04-29)April 29, 1937
Boone County, West Virginia, United States
DiedApril 25, 2005(2005-04-25) (aged 67)
Boone County, West Virginia, United States
GenresRockabilly
Country
Rock and roll
Blues
Psychobilly
OccupationsMusician
Singer-Songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals, drums, Harmonica, keyboards
Years active1957–2005
LabelsDee Jay Jamboree
Norton
Fat Possum
various
Websitewww.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.

Adkins is one of the pioneers of the psychobilly genre. With his 45 recordings of "Chicken Walk" appearing on Air Records in 1962 and "She Said" on Jody Records in 1966, Hasil's original, frenetic sound meshed with demented lyrics ushered in the genre known as psychobilly.

Contents

Early life

Adkins was born in Boone County, West Virginia, where he lived his entire life. Although many sources list 1937 as his year of birth, his 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, raised in a tarpaper shack on property rented from a local coal company. Adkins was both severely depressed and hyperactive as a child. Adkins reportedly attended four days of school in total and devoted the vast majority of his energy to becoming a musician. For supplemental income, he occasionally repaired and sold items like cars or washing machines.

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,[1] and a dance called "The Hunch".

He was well known for shrieking certain catchphrases, such as "hot dogs," "I want your head," "Gimme that commodity meat", and "AaaaaaaaaaaaaHeeeeeeeeeeee-Wooo!!!!"

Recurring themes in Adkins' work include love, heartbreak, 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." For the most part, Adkins recorded his own songs, though Peanut Butter Rock and Roll includes covers of "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)".

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, 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, Adkins 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 him. 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. 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

LP releases

References

  1. ^ "Hasil Adkins." Contemporary Musicians, Volume 50. Gale Group, 2004. "...Adkins is revered as the "Godfather" of psychobilly music---a frenetic hybrid of punk and rockabilly. Supporters have not championed this artist because he is musically accomplished or a good singer (he is neither); rather, they love his intensity, improvisational creativity, and cut-to-the-bone weirdness. Of all the performers from the original rockabilly era, Adkins is one of only a few who has developed a cult audience among punks, performance artists, and independent filmmakers alike."

External links