There was one rule for The Kentucky Headhunters at The Grand Ole Opry – and it came at the request of Roy Acuff.
If members – known for their long and unruly hair wanted to play in the Opry’s sacred circle – they had to chop their locks. The request was delivered decades ago, and members still haven’t cut their hair. However, the Kentucky Headhunters will make their Grand Ole Opry debut on Saturday.
“It’s a new milestone in our career that we never thought would happen,” Richard Young said.
The offer comes 30 years after The Kentucky Headhunters, known for hits including “Dumas Walker” and “Walk Softly On This Heart of Mine,” charted their biggest hits. In the early days, bluegrass great Bill Monroe was a fan of the group, and he championed their original run to the Opry stage. But Acuff wasn’t having it.
“Mr. Acuff said, ’I think they are probably good boys and would do a fine job, but let’s get ’em a haircut first!’” Young recalled. “Needless to say, it never happened. We are so looking forward to our first appearance on the Opry stage in 30 years. We still got our hair, too. Well, most of it!”
The group released its first new album in five years last month. The 12-track collection dubbed “That’s A Fact Jack!” is out now. The album is home to the band’s first Christmas song, “Let’s All Get Together and Fight.” Young said it was sparked last Thanksgiving by being separated from his extended family because of the pandemic.
“We couldn’t go anywhere,” Young said. “I was sitting here Thanksgiving Day, and we couldn’t get together. I don’t know how your family is, but every year when we get together at holiday time, there’s always one or two that has a chip on their shoulder about something. Maybe one of the ladies fixes a cake, and nobody ate any of that. So, she gets so lit up about that. I was sitting there thinking, ’This is so sad. We can’t even get together and fight.’”
The Opry can be heard at opry.com, wsmonline.com, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (Willie’s Roadhouse) and on 650 AM-WSM.