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A story of a song

September 10, 2013 - Zach Baker
As some readers may know, I can be found most late afternoons at an area Subway, picking up a sandwich.

Truthfully, it's not that I like subs that much. But I've convinced myself that the restaurant is better for me than the other fast food alternatives. I don't have the science to back this up, and don't care to.

But every once is a while, something happens during these excursions that stands out. Once, an unknown person paid for my lunch. No idea who. No idea why. Never even got the chance to thank him or her. But if that person is reading, I appreciate it.

Today, as I stood in line, I heard a song that I'd almost forgotten about, and probably hadn't even heard in two decades. It was a track by the band the Kentucky Headhunters, and the song was calle d "Dumas Walker."

In the early 1990s I -- like much of the country-- developed a thing for country music. My father nurtured this, and began bringing home album after album from the library. Garth Brooks. Clint Black. Alan Jackson.

These guys looked like country music stars, with big cowboy hats and often bigger belt buckles.

But then my dad brought home a Kentucky Headhunters album.

The Headhunters weren't a new band. They'd been playing for years, but had only broken through in the early 90s, stretching the limits of what could be considered country music. It wasn't totally dissimilar from the rockabilly acts of about 15 years earlier, but the Headhunters pushed their sounder closer and closer to classic rock.

And these guys looked like they'd come out of the backwoods. No cowboy hats. No steel guitars. Hair that was unkept and past their shoulders.

I loved them.

They did a brilliant, rowdy cover of Hank Williams' "Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine" and hit a jovial tone with the song "Dumas Walker."

Their first album sold very well. Their second (despite a cover of "The Ballad of Davy Crockett") wasn't as successful, and soon the band went through changes.

I can honestly say I haven't heard about the Kentucky Headhunters at all since the mid-1990s.

Fast-forward to today.

The tune of "Dumas Walker" filled the air. I told the cashier how it had been ages since I'd heard the song, or the band.

"This band was popular in the early '90s," I told her.

The cashier looked back at me.

"I wasn't born until the 90s," she said.

At that moment, the time warp was over. The song ended. Who knows when the Headhunters will grace the radio again.

Ah well, there's always YouTube.

 
 
 

 

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