Attending the dedication were 3 of the Kentucky Headhunters in front, Doug Phelps, left, (lead vocals, base guitar), Greg Martin, center, (lead guitar, lift vocals) and also brothers Richard Young (lead and also background vocals, rate guitar), right. Young’s brother, Fred Young, (drums, vocals) was sick and also was can not to attend. In earlier is James Walker, brother of Dumas, and also Thomas Watson, a Clay County historical preservationist who arranged the event.

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On Aug. 18, 2021, moral Abe Log houses was pleased come be component of a dedication ceremony for a Tennessee department of Tourist advance marker commemorating the life of Dumas Walker.

Dumas Walker’s Store, as made famed by the Kentucky Headhunters and inspired by Clay County, Tennessee, aboriginal champion marble player Dumas Walker has actually been honored by the State the Tennessee with a new “Tennessee Music Pathways” marker in Celina, Tennessee.In 1990, the Kentucky Headhunters, a southerly rock tape from Edmonton, Kentucky, scored their 2nd hit, “Dumas Walker,” on the nation charts. The song was credited to all five then-current members the the team – Doug Phelps, Fred Young, Greg Martin, Richard Young and also Ricky Lee Phelps.A large crowd gathered top top a hot afternoon to hear story from 3 of the Headhunters, Phelps, Martin and also Richard Young, about the writing the song, their own youth and musical background and Dumas walker himself. Walker’s nephew, Alan West, shared household stories and also memories that Walker. Also present to be Walker’s brother, James, that drafted the original setup for the store and also applied because that the service license for it.“Dumas Walker” come from the Headhunters’ No. 2 nation album, “Pickin’ ~ above Nashville” and also followed your previous hit, “Walk Softly ~ above This heart of Mine.” The music video aired on CMT (then specifically a video clip channel) and also featured Dumas pedestrian in a cameo appearance. Climate 74 year old, he own Walker’s Package save on Tennessee Highway 52, in Moss, Tennessee, simply south that the Kentucky-Tennessee state line.Launched by the Tennessee department of Tourist advancement in 2018, Tennessee Music Pathways is an digital planning overview that connects travellers to the state’s well-off musical heritage at tnmusicpathways.com. Native the largest cities come the smallest communities, Tennessee Music Pathways stretches throughout all 95 counties and also features thousands of landmarks indigenous the seven genres that music that speak to Tennessee home.

The collection at the bottom that this page shows the enthusiasm for the song, the Kentucky Headhunters and also the legend that Dumas Walker.

In the photo below are members of the community, the media, neighborhood leadership and also representatives of the Tennessee department of tourist Development.


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Dumas Walker and also the Kentucky Headhunters

By Claudia Johnson, country Reunion newspaper Columnist

“Well, let’s every go down to Dumas Walker’s.” This intriguing invitation is the very first line the 1990 hit track ”Dumas Walker” by country rock tape The Kentucky Headhunters.

Written by the band’s members in ~ the time, Doug Phelps, Fred K. Young, Gregory glenn Martin, Richard Oren Young and Ricky Lee Phelps, the song practically did not make that onto their 1989 debut album, “Pickin’ ~ above Nashville,” since their document label believed the story to be to local to have any kind of national appeal. The tape insisted, and the attractive tune ended up being a No. 15 hit that stayed on the charts because that 26 weeks.

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“What castle didn’t see, was the reaction we obtained to that every night that us played the in former of a crowd, and it didn’t matter where we were play either,” Doug Phelps claimed in a 2007 interview top top the Liberty ‘n’ justice website. “What we uncovered was that there was a Dumas Walker’s in many everyone’s lives, and by the time you included a good groove to it, human being were hooked!”

Yes, Dumas Walker’s was a actual store, and there actually was a man named Dumas Walker that owned it. According to Phelps, Walker, lived and also owned a package keep just throughout the Kentucky/Tennessee line at Moss, Tennessee, an unincorporated community additionally known nationally for its log house manufacturer, honest Abe log in Homes.

“Dumas Walker’s to be a location where you can buy beer, snacks, fireworks on the fourth of July and just a little place whereby the old timers might hang and also visit,” stated Phelps, that was not initially from the area. “It was a component of the Kentucky boys’ lives farming up, and we just made decision to write a song about it and also him as sort of one ‘ode come Dumas.’”

Walker to be a civilization champion marble player for the video game of Rolley Hole. The game is a team sport competed in by adults with handmade marbles. Walker was so good that civilization would come from miles away to watch him play. The national Rolley hole Marble competition is hosted each September in ~ Standing stone State Park to preserve and also celebrate this traditional game.

In the song’s lyrics a pair go to Dumas Walker’s after see a movie at the regional drive-in.

“Got a pocketful the money, and also I’m rarin’ to go under to Dumas Walker appropriate after the show,” says the narrator. “They’ll it is in shootin’ marbles in the back of the store and also laying money under on the floor.”

The track paints pedestrian as a bit crotchety, saying that the old man doesn’t favor young folks hanging around.

“He’s quick to permit you recognize we gained a regulation in this town. You ought to see him grinnin’ when he walks with the door. The marble king is all set for more.”

Walker to be 74 year old as soon as the Headhunters, few of whom had known Walker due to the fact that they to be children, encouraged him to show his marble an abilities in their video for “Dumas Walker’s.” Headhunter Richard Oren Young recalled few of his memories around Walker in one interview ~ above songtek.com.


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Photo: kentuckycountrymusic.com


“Dumas could take two marbles, just one trick for instance, and set them two inches personally maybe, in ~ 30 yards away,” that said. “And ns couldn’t even see the marbles, and he could hit one more marble, it would go in between those marbles, hesitate, and also come earlier to him, and also of course nobody knows exactly how he did that, really… We began going under there as soon as we were simply kids, getting fireworks, reason you couldn’t gain fireworks in Kentucky. Naturally he laid the trick top top us, and us being kids we were mesmerized by it. The was his trick to obtain you come come back.”

A few years before he passed away Walker damaged his arm in a automobile accident, rendering him unable to play marbles the rest of his life. As soon as he happen in 1991 the store was marketed to brand-new owners. However, his widow, Hazel, refuse to offer his name, therefore the store was not permitted to be called “Dumas Walker’s.”

One line in the track captured one more youthful storage of getting “a slaw burger, fries and a party of Ski,” and though attributed to occurring at Walker’s store, actually referred to a restaurant referred to as Adolphus Ennis Lunchroom in Greensburg, Kentucky. A slaw citizens is just a hamburger through a help of mayonnaise-based slaw top top the bun. SKI is a citrus soda make from real orange and lemon juice. Now produced by the Double Cola Company, it to be formulated in the 1950s and also has remained famous in the areas where that is distributed, including Southern Kentucky where many of the Headhunters flourished up.

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The Kentucky Headhunters’ “Pickin’ top top Nashville” album created four peak 40 hits, “Walk Softly top top This heart of Mine”, “Oh Lonesome Me,” “Dumas Walker” and also “Rock ‘n’ roll Angel.” It to be certified Platinum in only seven months, making the album the an initial to attain a million sales in such a quick period. In 1990 the band won a Grammy award for finest Country power by a Duo or group with Vocal, Best new Vocal group award indigenous the Academy of nation Music (ACM) and Album that the Year and Vocal group of the Year awards indigenous the nation Music association (CMA).

“Well, we were simply a little bit ahead of our time, i think, as soon as you look ago on the now,” Phelps told Liberty ‘n’ Justice. “Our influence is every over nation radio now. There space all kinds of acts the aren’t afraid to placed some rock and also blues right into their music now. I hear the influence all the time.”

Read the lyrics here.

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This short article was released in the Larry’s country Diner and Country family members Reunion Magazine around the Moss, Tennessee, resident whose story inspired a fight song. Click right here to examine out the magazine.