A History of Hunch, Part I

Although he won't confirm the exact year (maybe he doesn't really know) Hasil appears to have been born on April 29th, 1937 in Boone County, West Virginia. Located in the southern most part of the state, Haze's region is dominated by coal mines. Hasil's father, Wid Adkins, dug coal for decades and sternly warned, "Don't you ever go in those mines."

While Haze was drawn to music by the pure joy of making noise, music would eventually offer a way out of the mines. Hasil took to music as a child, turning it into a form of play. By making sounds out of whatever he could find, ordinary objects like wash tubs, bottles and jugs became instruments.

A lot of people didn't believe it when Hasil first took to the stage in the mid-1950's. His crazy gyrations and hepped-up vocal attack were mind boggling to the fair-goers and other inhabitants of the biggest small town near Hasil's house... Madison. They did know it was sort of the same thing that Elvis Presley was doing, so they dubbed Haze, "Elvis Hasil Adkins."

Hasil's one-man-band approach arose in part from his reckoning that the other musicians he heard on 78's were playing everything by themselves. As the one-man-band began to hit his stride, the hunching-like movements of his sexed-up fans gave birth to a new dance. In 1957, Haze christened the new dance and the first of its many offshoot songs, "The Hunch."

--Dennis Crolley

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Photographs by Christine Gaites
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