Wayne Kemp

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Wayne Kemp
Born (1940-06-11)June 11, 1940
Greenwood, Arkansas, U.S.
Died March 9, 2015(2015-03-09) (aged 74)
Lafayette, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres Country
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1969–1986
Labels Decca
United Artists
Door Knob
Associated acts George Jones
Bobby G. Rice
Johnny Cash

Wayne Kemp (June 11, 1940 – March 9, 2015)[1] was an American country music singer.[2][3] He recorded between 1969 and 1986 for Decca, MCA, United Artists, Mercury and Door Knob Records, and charted twenty-four singles on the Hot Country Songs charts. His highest-peaking single was "Honky Tonk Wine," which peaked at No. 17 in 1973. The song is included on his second studio album, Kentucky Sunshine, which reached No. 25 on Top Country Albums.[4]

Kemp was born, as one of nine children, in Greenwood, Arkansas, and raised in Muldrow, Oklahoma.[5]

Kemp also co-wrote songs for other artists, including "Love Bug" for George Jones[3] and "One Piece at a Time" for Johnny Cash. Ricky Van Shelton also released a cover of Kemp's "I'll Leave This World Loving You."

Kemp died on March 9, 2015 at Macon County General Hospital in Lafayette, Tennessee, at the age of 74.[5][6] He was suffering from multiple ailments and was on kidney dialysis when he died.



Year Album details Chart Positions
US Country
1971 Wayne Kemp
1974 Kentucky Sunshine 25
1983 Country Past, Present, Future
  • Release date: 1983
  • Label: Door Knob


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1969 "Won't You Come Home (And Talk to a Stranger)" 61 Wayne Kemp
"Bar Room Habits" 73
1971 "Who'll Turn Out the Lights" 57
"Award to an Angel" 52
"Did We Have to Come This Far (To Say Goodbye)" 72 non-album single
1972 "Darlin'" 53 Kentucky Sunshine
1973 "Honky Tonk Wine" 17 13[7]
"Kentucky Sunshine" 53
1974 "Listen" 32 94[8]
"Harlan County" 57 non-album singles
1976 "Waiting for the Tables to Turn" 72
"I Should Have Watched That First Step" 71
1977 "Leona Don't Live Here Anymore" 91
"I Love It (When You Love All Over Me)" 76
1980 "Love Goes to Hell When It Dies" 62
"I'll Leave This World Loving You" 47
1981 "Your Wife Is Cheatin' on Us Again" 35
"Just Got Back from No Man's Land" 46
"Why Am I Doing Without" 75
1982 "Slow Gin and Fast Women" 78
"She Only Meant to Use Him" 64
1983 "Don't Send Me No Angels" 55 Country Past, Present, Future
1984 "I've Always Wanted To" 75
1986 "Red Neck and Over Thirty" (with Bobby G. Rice) 70 non-album single


  1. ^ "Wayne Kemp June 11, 1940 ~ March 9, 2015 (age 74)". Anderson & Son Funeral Homes and Memorial Park. Retrieved October 28, 2016. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 221. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  3. ^ a b "UA Country Artists". Billboard: UA–4. 9 October 1976. 
  4. ^ "Chart position for Kentucky Sunshine". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Betts, Stephen L. (March 10, 2015). "'Love Bug' Songwriter Wayne Kemp Dead at 74". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 28, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Wayne Kemp dies". Tennessean.com. 1941-06-01. Retrieved 2015-03-11. 
  7. ^ "Search results for Wayne Kemp". RPM. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 
  8. ^ "RPM Country Tracks for March 2, 1974". RPM. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 

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