Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Country rock and hillbilly band of the '90s comprising Richard Young on guitar (b 27 Jan. '55, Edmonton KY), Fred Young on drums (b 8 July '58, Edmonton), Greg Martin on guitar (b 31 March '54, Edmonton), Doug Phelps on bass (b 16 Feb. '60), lead singer Ricky Lee Phelps (b 8 Oct. '53). Phelps brothers left '92 to form Brother Phelps, replaced by Anthony Kenney (b 8 Oct. '53) and Mark Orr (b 16 Nov. '53). Five rednecks from backwoods Arkansas and Kentucky; roots of group go back to '68 and the Itchy Brothers, formed by brothers Fred and Richard Young, Greg Martin and cousin Anthony Kenney and later Mark Orr; played together '68--81 and split when they'd gone as far they could. Richard became songwriter with Acuff-Rose; Fred toured with Sylvia, appeared as drummer in movie Sweet Dreams; Martin joined Ronnie McDowell's band, where he met Doug Phelps. The Itchy Brothers re-formed with Doug, Fred, Greg, Richard and Ricky Lee and changed name to Kentucky HeadHunters '88. Hosted own Chittlin' Show on WLOC-FM radio; landed contract with Mercury '89; debut album Pickin' On Nashville went platinum. Hit singles incl. 'Dumas Walker', 'Oh Lonesome Me' '90; won CMA award as Vocal Group of the Year '90- -91. Continuous touring was a strain, coupled with musical differences led to Ricky Lee and Doug leaving. Brother Phelps signed with Asylum and hit with 'Letting Go' '93. The HeadHunters moved away from country towards rock and lost much of their core country following. Other albums incl. Electric Barnyard '91, Rave On '93 on Mercury.