The Kentucky Headhunters have today’s almost forgotten track

The Kentucky Headhunters emerged just as country music was splitting into two very separate camps…on the one hand there was what they called “new country” which was, in effect, the injection of pop music into mainstream country, which proved to be, commercially, where the record companies felt it should go, and it remains stuck there all these years later…on the other hand, southern rock began to creep into the mainstream and the Headhunters represented that camp…it, too, remains a major part of modern country music…on the final hand, what many of us think of as pure country is now relegated to the sub-genre Americana, where I spend most of my listening time when under the general “country” umbrella…all that being said, The Kentucky Headhunters were trailblazers in their own right, somewhere in between that southern rock influence and Americana, though, at the time, marketed as “new country” because, frankly, the labels were desperate to create a way of selling the diverging elements and, I must say, they succeeded…whether country outsells most other genres these days because it’s better than ever is an arguable point, as is the view that long time country fans still prefer comfortable technology as regards music delivery, but that’s a discussion for another day…I’ll just sum up by saying that I truly liked what this band did until they, too, split into two divergent camps…


Greg Simpson

Greg Simpson firmly believes his career in the music industry officially began on March 14, 1965 when a band gave him ten dollars as commission for helping them find a gig. He hasn’t looked back since then and looks forward to celebrating his fiftieth in 2015 with an enormous party paid for by the hundreds of dollars he’s made since then. His career has covered all aspects from radio for many years, and including working for record labels, artists and, since 1992, Canadian Music Week where he programs the radio stream and manages all conference streams and events in real time annually. He also attends half a dozen conferences a year doing research for CMW and is generally accepted as a knowledgeable cat with a few stories to tell. At the root of it all, though, is his undying love for music and musicians.

Published on July 10, 2018 at 9:05 pm by Greg Simpson


July 11, 2018 - 8:38 am


I’ve always wondered if these guys regretted the breakup. They came in with a bang, they had some crossover appeal and had a very likeable authenticity. Then it was gone just as fast.

July 11, 2018 - 9:34 am

greg simpson

I’m with you Zebb, and thanks for posting. There was a time when I used to manage bands, but what I didn’t buy into was the internal politics of any band I worked with…if there is no identifiable leader/decision maker, and if the rest don’t buy into that concept, all such bands are doomed to failure. Obviously the Headhunters needed the Brothers Phelps, and without the rest of the band the brothers didn’t last as long as they could have, either.

Leave a Reply

Text Groove for Radio