By Claudia Johnson

Dumas Walker’s Store, as made famous by the Kentucky Headhunters and inspired by Clay County, Tennessee, native and champion marble player Dumas Walker has been honored by the State of Tennessee with a new “Tennessee Music Pathways” marker in Celina, Tennessee.
In 1990, the Kentucky Headhunters, a Southern rock band from Edmonton, Kentucky, scored their second hit, “Dumas Walker,” on the country charts. The song was credited to all five then-current members of the group – Doug Phelps, Fred Young, Greg Martin, Richard Young and Ricky Lee Phelps.

“Dumas Walker” came from the Headhunters’ No. 2 country album, “Pickin’ on Nashville” and followed their previous hit, “Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine.” The music video aired on CMT (then exclusively a video channel) and featured Dumas Walker in a cameo appearance. Then 74 years old, he owned Walker’s Package Store on Tennessee Highway 52, in Moss, Tennessee, just south of the Kentucky-Tennessee state line.
A large crowd gathered on a hot afternoon to hear stories from three of the Headhunters, Phelps, Martin and Richard Young, about the writing the song, their own youth and musical history and the man Dumas Walker. Walker’s nephew, Alan West, shared family stories and memories of Walker. Also present was Walker’s brother, James, who drafted the original plan for the store and applied for the business license for it.
Launched by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development in 2018, Tennessee Music Pathways is an online planning guide that connects visitors to the state’s rich musical heritage at From the largest cities to the smallest communities, Tennessee Music Pathways stretches across all 95 counties and features hundreds of landmarks from the seven genres of music that call Tennessee home.
To read a story about the song. “Dumas Walker,” that was previously published in Country Reunion Magazine, visit

Cutline for photo:

Attending the marker unveiling on Aug. 18, 2021, were three of the Kentucky Headhunters. In front are Doug Phelps, left, lead vocals, bass guitar, Greg Martin, center, lead guitar, background vocals, and Richard Young, right, lead and background vocals, rhythm guitar. Young’s brother, Fred Young, (drums, vocals) was sick and was unable to attend. In back is James Walker, Brother of Dumas, and Thomas Watson, a Clay County historic preservationist who organized the event.