b. 1 June 1941, Greenwood, Arkansas, USA. Kemp’s father was a motor mechanic and as a teenager Kemp drove racing cars. His interest changed to music and, forming his own band, he toured the south-west. In 1963, he gained fame as a songwriter when George Jones had a big hit with ‘Love Bug’. After his own recording of ‘The Image Of Me’ had made little impression, Conway Twitty’s cover version became a number 5 country hit. Twitty had further major success with Kemp’s songs ‘Next In Line’, ‘Darling You Know I Wouldn’t Lie’ and ‘That’s When She Started To Stop Loving You’. Kemp’s own first hit came in 1969 with his Decca Records recording of ‘Won’t You Come Home’. Between then and 1982, also recording on MCA, United Artists Records and Mercury Records, he charted 20 more hits, the only Top 20 entrant being ‘Honky Tonk Wine’ (1973). In 1983, he had a minor hit on Door Knob with his song ‘Don’t Send Me No Angels’ (the song was later successfully recorded by both Ricky Van Shelton and George Jones). Kemp remains active as a writer of great 'tears in ma beer’ songs. His own last chart hit was a duet with Bobby G. Rice, ‘Red Neck And Over Thirty’, in 1986.
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