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The Kentucky Headhunters

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The Kentucky Headhunters created a hybrid of honky tonk, blues, and Southern rock that appealed to fans of both rock and country music. The origins of the Kentucky Headhunters lie in 1968, when Fred and Richard Young began playing together with their cousins Greg Martin and Anthony Kenney at the Youngs' grandmother's house. Mark Orr also later joined them. The first incarnation of the band was called the Itchy Brothers, and the group played together informally for over a decade. After about 13 years, the bandmembers began launching separate careers: Richard Young went off to write songs for Acuff-Rose, while Fred Young began touring with country beauty Sylvia. Martin became a member of Ronnie McDowell's band, while Kenney dropped out of music. In 1985, Martin decided to reassemble the Itchy Brothers. When Kenney declined to rejoin the group, Martin remembered Doug Phelps, whom he had met while on tour with McDowell. Phelps joined the new project, which was named the Kentucky Headhunters. Besides Martin and Phelps, the band also included the Young brothers and Doug's brother Ricky Lee Phelps. The Headhunters started playing twice monthly on The Chitlin' Show, a radio program on WLOC Munfordville, Kentucky. From these 90-minute performances, the Headhunters built up a following. They sent an eight-song demo to Mercury, and soon after, the label signed the group. The original demo tape was remixed, and became the basis of the band's first album, 1989's Pickin' on Nashville, which received overwhelmingly positive reviews upon its release and quickly became a hit. "Dumas Walker" reached number 15 in the spring of 1990, followed by the group's biggest hit, the number six "Oh, Lonesome Me." In 1991, the Headhunters released their second effort, Electric Barnyard. The album received mixed reviews, couldn't muster a single, and sold weakly. In summer 1992, the Phelps brothers left the group to form Brothers Phelps, a more traditional country group. The remaining Headhunters brought ex-Itchy Brothers Anthony Kenney and Mark Orr to the group, and the rehashed lineup released Rave On! in 1993. The album marked a progression toward bluesy Southern rock, which came to fruition later that same year with That'll Work, a collaboration with former Chuck Berry pianist Johnnie Johnson. In 1996, Doug returned on lead vocals, and a year later the band issued Stompin' Grounds. Songs from the Grass String Ranch followed in 2000, and Soul appeared in spring 2003. Big Boss Man was released in 2005 and Flying Under the Radar in 2006, both from CBUJ Entertainment. Dixie Lullabies, the group's 12th album, and first studio recording of new original material since 2003, appeared from Red Dirt Records in 2011. In 2015, the Headhunters released another collaborative album with Johnnie Johnson, Meet Me in Bluesland, drawn from unissued sessions recorded in 2003, two years before Johnson's death. ~ Johnny Loftus
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Albums by
The Kentucky Headhunters

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    10 songs

    On Air

    Snapshot: Kentucky Headhunters

    14 songs

    On Air

    Dixie Lullabies

    13 songs

    On Air

    Electric Barnyard

    11 songs

    On Air

    Soul

    12 songs

    On Air

    Songs from the Grass String Ranch

    10 songs

    On Air

    Pickin' on Nashville

    16 songs

    On Air

    Midnight Special

    13 songs

    On Air

    The Best of the Kentucky Headhunters: Still Pickin'

    16 songs

    On Air

    Authorized Bootleg: Live - Agara Ballroom - Cleveland, Ohio May - 13 1990

    11 songs

    On Air

    Meet Me in Bluesland

    9 songs

    On Air

    The Kentucky Headhunters ''more Hits''

    2 songs

    On Air

    Singin' the Blues

    12 songs

    On Air

    Big Boss Man

    11 songs

    On Air

    Stompin' Grounds

    12 songs

    On Air

    Rave On!


Top Songs by
The Kentucky Headhunters

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Dumas Walker
  3.   Oh, Lonesome Me
  4.   Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine
  5.   Back to the Sun
  6.   Rock On
  7.   Rock 'N' Roll Angel
  8.   Stumblin'
  9.   Walk Soflty on This Heart of Mine
  10.   Spirit in the Sky
  11.   Little Miss Blues Breaker
  12.   Just Believe
  13.   She's About a Mover
  14.   Rag Top
  15.   Chug-a-Lug
  16.   Just Another Night
  17.   Smooth
  18.   Ashes of Love
  19.   Fast Train
  20.   She's Got To Have It
  21.   Little Queenie
  22.   Walking After Midnight
  23.   Take Me Back/My Old Kentucky
  24.   Roll on Little Pretty
  25.   Dixie Lullaby
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
The Kentucky Headhunters

    On Air

    Southern Rock

    On Air

    David Nail: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    '90s Country

    On Air

    Classic Country


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