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Published: 2013/04/03

The Kentucky HeadHunters Will Enter the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame

The Southern Country Blues Rock Act The Kentucky HeadHunters will be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame on Friday, April 12, at the Lexington Center Bluegrass Ballroom (430 West Vine Street, Lexington, KY). The museum is located in Renfro Valley, KY, home to Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe, Merle Travis, The Everly Brothers, Loretta Lynn, Rosemary Clooney, Dwight Yoakam, and many others. More information is available at 877-356-3263 or 606-256-1000, or by visiting

Now in their 45th year, The Kentucky HeadHunters formed on Richard and Fred Young’s family farm in Edmonton, KY, with cousins Greg Martin and Anthony Kenney. Originally called “Itchy Brothers” and sometimes referred to jokingly as “The Best Known-Unknown Band in the South,” had their fair share of close brushes with record opportunities in the 70s, including Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records and the southern titan Capricorn Records.

In 1984 the band changed its name, added brothers Ricky and Doug Phelps, and evolved into the Kentucky HeadHunters. Five years later, the HeadHunters recorded an independent album and were signed by Harold Shedd to Mercury Records. The multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning HeadHunters continued to tour steadily with hits like “Dumas Walker,” “Walk Softly On This Heart of Mine,” and “Oh Lonesome Me.” On their most recent album, 2010’s Dixie Lullabies, they remain true to themselves, blending elements of blues country, English rock, rockabilly, jazz, and naturally, Southern rock.

Esteemed writer Holly Gleason has commented, “Facts is facts. The Kentucky HeadHunters are a great rock band, filtered through the British/blues-based rock and roll of the Yardbirds, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Frankie Miller, and Long John Baldry. Twenty years after being the biggest thing there was, it appears the Kentucky HeadHunters are on the verge of being what they were meant to be: a slamming rock/roots band that fears no corner at any speed. Like the old blues guys, they ain’t afraid to sweat or make it moan. We should all take that lesson to heart.”

Other artists to be inducted during the ceremony include Steven Curtis Chapman, Exile, Skeeter Davis, The Hilltoppers, Old Joe Clark, and Emory and Linda Martin. These artists will join other native Kentucky music professionals to be honored for their contribution to music in Kentucky and around the world.

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