The Richmond Register

Local News

April 14, 2013

Exile recognized as part of state’s music heritage

LEXINGTON — In 1963, a group of Madison County high school boys who let their hair grow long formed a rock ‘n’ roll band, worrying local adults.

The Beatles, another rock ‘n’  roll band whose music and long hair caused unease among adults, would not come to America until 1964.

So the band that called itself the Exiles, because it was shunned by traditionalists and authority figures, was ahead of its time.

It may have taken half a century, but Exile, as the band came to be known, was enshrined Friday night into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame.

That’s a long way from when the FCC deemed Exile’s first No. 1 hit, “Kiss You All Over,” too racy for network television in the late 1970s.

In 1983, Exile switched to a country music format, and the hits kept coming. Of their 18 hits, 11 were chart toppers.

Madison County, where Exile started, is sandwiched between Lexington, where the induction ceremony took place, and Renfro Valley, the hall of fame’s home.

Lexington Center’s Bluegrass Ballroom was sold out for the event that drew many of Kentucky’s elite, in addition to those being inducted.

J.P. Pennington, the only original member still with Exile, paid tribute in his acceptance speech to the group’s past members, which number at least 16.

“We feel we’d be wrong if we didn’t recognize all the former band members who did their part in helping to keep the dream alive,” he said. “We think their names should be read aloud,” Pennington said on behalf of the band.

He started with the late Jimmy Stokely, Exile’s lead singer on “Kiss You All Over.” Next came Buzz Cornelison, Billy Luxon, Mike Howard, Mack Davenport and Ronnie Hall.

They were followed by Paul Smith, Bernie Faulkner, Bill Kennon, Kenny Weir, Bobby Johns, Rand Rickman, Lee Carroll, Paul Martin and Mark Jones.

“It’s the least we could do to recognize these awesome people and publicly let them know we appreciate them for the time and the sweat and the miles they put into furthering the cause,” Pennington said.

Former Richmond postmaster Kim Owens, a member of the hall of fame’s board and Stokely’s cousin, accepted a hall of fame trophy on his behalf.

Nicole LeMaire, daughter of current Exile member Sonny LeMaire, has written a history of the group, “Life In Exile: A Journey Home: 50 Years of Music from the band Exile," went on sale this month on

Exile wasn’t the only music act with a Madison County connection inducted into the hall Friday.

Old Joe Clark, who lived near Berea and died in Richmond in 1998, also was enshrined.

Clark’s son Terry, who performed for many years with his dad, accepted on his behalf.

Other inductees included Steven Curtis Chapman, The Hilltoppers, the late Skeeter Davis, The Kentucky Headhunters and Emory & Linda Lou Martin.

Members of Exile and the Headhunters talked of their connections and mutual admiration, just as Terry Clark talked about his father’s relationship with the Martins.

Several Headhunters called Exile their inspiration, and one told of when Stokely invited them to join Exile in playing at a popular club and advanced them money to buy gas.

Clark said the late Emory Martin helped keep his father’s banjo tuned.

Linda Lou Martin still lives in Rockcastle County. Her granddaughter, Alexandra, joined Terry Clark in a musical tribute to their forebearers, she on the fiddle and he on the banjo.

After the show, Pennington remarked that he now had two hall of fame trophies, his and his mother’s, the late Lillie Mae Ledford of The Coon Creek Girls.

Exile performed “Kiss You All Over” for their portion of the show, along with an a capella version of a Coon Creek Girls song that Pennington recalled from his childhood, “Didn't It Rain.”

This year’s induction class was only the sixth since the hall of fame’s first in 2002.

Bill Robinson can be reached at or 624-6690.

Text Only
Local News
  • 4-20 Shoulders-B.jpg Eggs fly at park

    Easter has probably never been so “eggstravagant” in Richmond as it was Saturday during the annual Eggstravaganza in Irvine-McDowell Park.
    For the first time, thousands of eggs were dropped, appropriately by an “eggbeater”-type helicopter, in addition to thousands of eggs already scattered on the grass below. Together, they numbered about 10,000, according to Erin Moore, Richmond Parks and Recreation director.

    April 20, 2014 12 Photos

  • City awaits funds for Water Street project

    Richmond city officials are still awaiting word on grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Water Street drainage project.
    However, Mayor Jim Barnes said he is confident the money should come through by May 1.

    April 20, 2014

  • Kitcarson1.jpg Elementary schools built in ‘60s getting upgrades

    Renovation of three Madison County elementary schools built in Richmond during the 1960s will start this summer.
    The county school board voted Thursday to continue with the second phase of state paperwork required for the projects.
    With a target completion date of August 2015, renovations and alterations at Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and White Hall elementary schools are estimated to cost almost $12 million.

    April 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • KY 52 link to I-75 to be discussed May 13

    While a proposed link from Nicholasville to Exit 95 on Interstate 75 north of Richmond has garnered attention and organized opposition, the state also is developing plans to link I-75 to another community to the west.

    April 20, 2014

  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

     View Results