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The Kentucky Headhunters

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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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gemeterio62
God bless rockin hillbillies
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clacy907
They are playing in Bowling Green KY, a week from Saturday (March 28th) with Blackstone Cherry and ZZ Top! CAN'T WAIT to "walk softly on this heart of mine......do w n to Dumas Walkers"!!!! ! ! ! Slainte!
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the Kentucky Headhunters signed my guitar last night at the Lumberyard in Roscoe Texas.
They were awesome.
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BODYSHOP
GREATEST GROUP OF GUYS YOU'LL EVER MEET. DOWN TO EARTH - THE REAL DEAL. THEY PLAY EVERY YEAR AT THE BOURBON FEST IN LOUISVILLE KY. RICHARD AND DOUG STILL SINGING THEIR HEARTS OUT, FRED STILL HITTIN THE SKINS. GREG MARTIN - WELL WHAT CAN I SAY. THEY ARE GREAT!!!!! THE BEST GROUP OF GUYS YOU'LL MEET IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY.
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Are they still touring??? I sure would look to go to one of their concerts... ♡♡♡★★★★♥♥♥
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Seen em 2 years ago and they all stayed after the show to sign everyone's things brought to them. Great great band and music!
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Love them country and rock mixed wonderful to get you going
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Awesome band
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newsbn
Ricky Lee Phelps plays on the Pensacola Beach scene....he' s great!
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This band is freaking awesome!
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Seen them twice. Fred does like a 15 min drum solo every show. Check it out on youtube..."F r e d Young". My favorite band ever! Great shows!
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phillip539
been listening to them since their first album...smoo t h is my all time favorite song
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Best mix of rock and country ever
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This is so cool all the best music
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Going to see the KHH tonight in Watertown Wi. At RIVERFEST
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still a great band
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Love them, especially Dumas Walker! Love them slawburger and fries! from Green Co. in Ky., my home-state!

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I love the headhunters
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The release with Johnny Johnson was "That'll Work!"
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knothead15
I saw them live in the 90's. They sounded much more like a blues than a country group. They were great though.
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The "Hunters" made some fun songs during their high road time,liked the drummer, didn`t like to get dressed I guess,the whole core group were fun to watch and listern too///"The itchy Brothers" were a better name I think..
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myers45_acp
I sorta like the name The Itchy Brothers better than the Kentucky Headhunters. Of course they'd have to have a lead singer called Scratchy ...
What better way to live a cartoon life?
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Rocking music...
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There is also an out of print session with bluesman Johnny Johnson from the '90s that is just outstanding.
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one of my fav. country bands,i like the song dumas walker .
Report as inappropriate
good band all i have too say

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