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Rock-A-Billy Artist Sings The Jailhouse Blues

May 20, 1986

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _ ″The Haze″ may be a craze in Britain and knocking ’em dead in New York, but rock-a-billy artist Hasil Adkins will be crooning his next few tunes in jail.

Adkins, known to his fans as the Haze, surrendered to federal marshals Monday and began serving a six-month jail sentence for illegal possession of a shotgun, said his laywer, Tom Smith.

The guitar-strumming one-man-band from the hills of West Virginia may not be a household word yet, but Adkins is considered in some circles one of the few unadulterated rock-a-billy artists left.

Adkins first emerged, hooting and wailing, in the 1950s with ″Chicken Walk″ and ″She Said,″ only to disappear again. European fans kept the rock- a-billy rage alive, and when the Cramps did a remake of ″She Said,″ Adkins’ records suddenly were hot again.

Adkins has two LPs on Germany’s Bison Bop label and Britain’s Big Beat cover and played New York’s Folk City and Maxwell’s clubs last month.

″If you were to throw a Hasil Adkins concert here in Berkeley, you wouldn’t have a seat left,″ said KALX disc jockey Mel Cheplowitz at the University of California’s radio station. ″Hasil played in the New York clubs last month and I heard they were blown away.″

U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver ordered Adkins to serve the six-month jail sentence and five years’ probation after the singer pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a shotgun from an October 1983 incident.

The judge agreed to give the rising star probation if Adkins can prove he has gainful employment as a musician, Smith said. The lawyer and Adkins’ agent are now seeking contracts.

″Hopefully he won’t be in jail too long,″ said Smith.

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