Wayne Kemp

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Wayne Kemp
Born(1940-06-11)June 11, 1940
Greenwood, Arkansas, U.S.
DiedMarch 9, 2015(2015-03-09) (aged 74)
Lafayette, Tennessee, U.S.
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1967–1986
United Artists
Door Knob
Associated actsGeorge Jones
Bobby G. Rice
Johnny Cash
Emmylou Harris

Wayne Kemp (June 11, 1940 – March 9, 2015)[1] was an American country music singer.[2][3] He recorded between 1964 and 1986 for JAB Records, 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 released a cover of Kemp's "I'll Leave This World Loving You" and Emmylou Harris's cover of "Feelin' Single - Seein' Double" became one of her signature songs.

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
1967 "Babblin Incoherently"
"The Image Of Me"
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 "Sloe 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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