William Kenneth “Kenny” Haddock is a pioneer Baltimore dobro player best remembered for his pioneer work with the bands of Earl Taylor and Billy Baker and with the original Country Gentlemen, all between 1955 and about 1963.
It was Kenny Haddock who, as a member of the Baltimore band The Franklin Country Ramblers, became acquainted with a young mandolin wizard from Tennessee by way of Dayton, Ohio, named Frank Wakefield around 1959. This meeting occured while Frank was on tour in this area as a member of Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys. With Kenny’s encouragement, Frank returned to Dayton, bundled up his wife and four children in his station wagon, and struck out for the East Coast. For awhile, until they could get established in this area, the Wakefield family shared Kenny’s home, and Frank played some dates with the Franklin County band too.
By 1960, Frank’s old partner from Dayton, Red Allen, had also relocated to the area from Dayton; Red and Frank reformed their band, The Kentuckians. The rest is history as this band began a five year recording run that produced some of the all-time classic recordings in bluegrass. It would not have happened had Kenny Haddock not encouraged Frank Wakefield to come to Baltimore and offered the hospitality of his own home.