- From Richmond, Virginia. Lives in Rocky Mount, Virginia.
- Early 70’s, had a group called “The New Grass Express.”
- 1972, formed (with Alan Mills) the Lost and Found and remained with that group until his death 34 years later.
- He is considered one of the most influential mandolin players in bluegrass. Ronnie McCoury credits Dempsey with inspiring him to play.
- Died, December 2006 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.