Dumas Walker

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"Dumas Walker"
Single by The Kentucky Headhunters
from the album Pickin' on Nashville
B-side ""High Steppin' Daddy"[1]"
Released January 12, 1990
Format 7" single, CD single
Recorded 1989
Genre Country rock, southern rock
Length 2:50
Label Polygram/Mercury
Songwriter(s) The Kentucky Headhunters
Producer(s) The Kentucky Headhunters
The Kentucky Headhunters singles chronology
"Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine"
(1989)
"Dumas Walker"
(1990)
"Oh Lonesome Me"
(1990)

"Dumas Walker" is a song written and recorded by Southern country rock band The Kentucky Headhunters. It was released in January 1990 as the second single from their 1989 album Pickin' on Nashville. It reached number 15 on Country charts, and was written by the band's five members at the time.

Content[edit]

The song begins with the command for the narrator's entourage to "all go down to Dumas Walker" in order to purchase a "slaw burger, fries and a bottle of Ski", and then for the items to be brought to his "baby" and himself. Following the command, the narrator describes a situation when he and his girlfriend were on the way to the "drive-in on a Saturday night with a six pack of Lite." He explains that he would proceed to go to Dumas Walker's "after the show" where Dumas and others would be shooting marbles behind the store. The call of "let's all go, down to Dumas Walker" then continues as the chorus is sung. Next, the singer describes Dumas Walker as closely adhering to the law. He is alluded to as the "marble king". Following this, the chorus is sung for the final time, and the song concludes.

Background[edit]

According to The Kentucky Headhunters' band member Doug Phelps, the song refers to a retailer and world class marbles champion named "Dumas" from Moss, Tennessee who owned a "package" shop near the Kentucky-Tennessee state line, close to Annie Hanrahan's place. The shop sold "beer, snacks [and] fireworks" and was "part of the Kentucky boys' lives growing up." The lyrics that reflect a desire to purchase a "slaw burger, fries, and a bottle of Ski" are completely unrelated to the real-life "Dumas Walker", referring to a restaurant in Greensburg, Kentucky called Adolphus Ennis, where the band would go following a show.[2]

At first, the record label did not want to include the song on the Kentucky Headhunters' album because they believed it was too regional. However, the Headhunters pushed for the song to be on the album because of the reaction it received during live shows.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

A review from Cash Box magazine was positive, stating that "'Dumas Walker', produced and arranged by the Heads themselves, opens our ears to electrifying country nestled in sweet southern comfort. This explosion of a tune, delivered with an almost daring harmony, should also find sweet comfort at the top of the chart."[3]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1990) Peak
position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[4] 50
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 15

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 223. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  2. ^ a b Interview with Doug Phelps, Liberty n'Justice, 2007.
  3. ^ "Country feature picks" (PDF). Cashbox. January 27, 1990. p. 22. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 9093." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. April 7, 1990. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  5. ^ "The Kentucky Headhunters – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for The Kentucky Headhunters.