Wendel Adkins

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b. 20 September 1946, Kentucky, USA. Raised in Fremont, Ohio, during his teens, Adkins played organ in a rock band, but he preferred to sing country music. He went to Nashville but poor management stifled…
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b. 20 September 1946, Kentucky, USA. Raised in Fremont, Ohio, during his teens, Adkins played organ in a rock band, but he preferred to sing country music. He went to Nashville but poor management stifled his talent and his ambition. Adkins moved to Las Vegas and, because he was tall, good-looking and entertaining, he attracted a following in the casino hotels. His country act included impersonations of Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, and he sounded like Waylon Jennings without trying. Ironically, it was Nelson who discovered him and suggested that he move from Las Vegas to Texas. He became associated with ‘outlaw country’ and he opened shows for both Nelson and David Allan Coe. His first album, Sundowners, was released on Motown Records’ Hitsville label in 1977 and included a tribute to Nelson, ‘Willie Didn’t Win’. His second album was recorded live at one of Nelson’s clubs, Whiskey River, and included the prophetic ‘Luckenbach Ain’t Never Gonna Be The Same’, a reference to the Texas town where the outlaws spent some time. During a residency at Gilley’s, he recorded a live album but although he was recording through the 80s, he never became a national country star. His outspoken language on ‘Rodeo Cowboys’, the opening track of If That Ain’t Country, may have lost him support. However, during the 00s he remains a popular recording and performing artist in Scandinavia.