The Kentucky Headhunters received an enthusiastic reception from many attending their concert Saturday evening at the Jackson County Fair. (Telegram Photo by Red Thompson, Jr.)
The Kentucky Headhunters received an enthusiastic reception from many attending their concert Saturday evening at the Jackson County Fair. (Telegram Photo by Red Thompson, Jr.)

The 2021 Jackson County Fair got off to a good start on Saturday night, July 17, with the return of the Kentucky Headhunters. The country/rock band broke the fair’s attendance record when they appeared in 1990, performing two shows with an estimated 10,000-plus people in the crowd. Just as they did over 30 years before, the regional band, Tallahassee Freight, opened for the Headhunters.  

The band had a meet-and-greet session before the concert and signed autographs after the show. The show was presented by RMA Presents of Parkersburg, West Virginia, and Rick Modesitt was on hand for the show. While the Saturday night crowd did not equal that of 1990, the enthusiasm was the same, as the band members performed their hit songs including “Oh Lonesome Me” and “Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine.”

The band members are Doug Phelps (lead vocals, bass guitar); Greg Martin (lead guitar, background vocals); Richard Young (lead and background vocals, rhythm guitar); and Fred Young (drums, vocals).
Phelps told the crowd he remembers coming to Wellston in 1990 and recalled the traffic jams and huge attendance, along with the great reception the band received. He made an immediate connection with the crowd when he spoke to them from the stage.

"Ohio has been good to us,” said Phelps. “Both back when we were getting started and still today.”

After a short break, The Kentucky Headhunters came back on the stage for the encore and played what the crowd was waiting for -- the ultimate crowd-pleaser in Jackson County, “Dumas Walker.” Not only was it a big hit on the country charts, finishing at #15, but it is also especially popular in the area due to the mention of Ski pop from the plant in Wellston. The song’s lyrics mention “a slaw burger, fries and a bottle of Ski.”

When the band transitioned into Dumas Walker, many people in the crowd raised the Ski bottles, and the Fair Queen and Court members, seated in the front row, had a great time dancing to the music. The show ended with a high note and brought back memories; it was a special night. On the way out, the crowd enjoyed a free bottle of Ski, courtesy of the Gem Bottle Company, to cap off a historic night.