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Sheb Wooley

Biography

Among pop culture scholars, Sheb Wooley is most beneficial remembered for his past due-’50s rock & roll/comedy hit “Crimson People Eater,” which distributed over 3 million copies. But among nation music afficianados, specifically supporters of cowboy music, Sheb Wooley may be the true content, or as near as you reaches it today. A rodeo rider from enough time that he was a youngster, he was earning money in the circuit as an adolescent, before he ever considered music being a profession. He considered music and acting, showing up in such Westerns as Great Noon, before he was ever well-known being a vocalist, and afterwards spent six periods playing cowhand Pete Nolan on the tv screen series Rawhide, even while he pursued a profession in nation music. Furthermore to cowboy music, his repertory contains traditional nation music and hillbilly music, combined with the ubiquitous “Crimson People Eater.” Down the road in the 1960s, he also created a drunken comic persona called Ben Colder, whose achievement in satirizing several elements of nation music, its market, and its own sensibilities in fact threatened to eclipse Sheb Wooley. Sheb Wooley was created in Erick, Fine, on Apr 10, 1921. A devoted rider from an early on age group, he was contending in regional rodeos before he was a decade outdated, and by enough time he was an adolescent was one of the better young riders in the circuit. Music was also one of is own passions, and Wooley got his initial electric guitar when his father swapped a shotgun for the device. The family members was poor, and living was extremely tough through the 1930s; more often than once their plants were virtually impressed by the dried out dust dish winds. Wooley led his personal nation band in senior high school, but music didn’t provide prospect of a full time income, and he produced his living for a while working the essential oil areas of Oklahoma like a welder. Much like many Oklahomans buying better long term, Wooley going to California in the past due ’30s and almost earned a full time income at a packaging plant, shifting crates of oranges. At that time Wooley was wedded to Melba Miller, the old sister of potential nation music celebrity Roger Miller. When Globe Battle II broke out, Wooley discovered himself tagged 4-F (ineligible for armed service service) due to injuries he’d experienced like a rodeo rider, and he spent a lot of the battle working in protection plant life. In 1945, he produced his first information for the Bullet label in Nashville, and started appearing being a vocalist/guitarist on WLAC; the work paid nothing at all, but allowed him to receives a commission function somewhere else. His Bullet edges had been cut at WSM, house from the Grand Ole Opry, however they saw minimal play or publicity of any sort. A year afterwards he transferred to Fort Value, TX, and got a normal i’m all over this radio there, sponsored by Calumet Cooking Natural powder. Finally, in 1949, on the recommendation of a pal at WSM, Wooley made a decision to make the leap and mind for California in wish to getting some film function. For this same period, he was authorized like a songwriter to Hill & Range, the posting company, which, subsequently, resulted in his being authorized by the recently founded MGM Information in 1950. MGM currently had a famous number in its roster, in the individual of Hank Williams, but nation music was flourishing, and there is room for as much worthwhile talents because the label may find. He also required acting lessons within the hope to getting some focus on the display. Wooley succeeded a lot more than he might have hoped with this capability, appearing in little parts in 40 feature movies, you start with Rocky Hill, Errol Flynn’s last American, in 1949. His perhaps most obviously display screen came 2 yrs later within the traditional Great Noon (1952), where he performed Ben Miller, the first choice from the outlaw gang gunning for city marshal Gary Cooper. He also performed an important helping function within the traditional drama Small Big Horn (1951), starring Lloyd Bridges and John Ireland, and was observed in The Man With out a Superstar (1955), Large (1956), and Rio Bravo (1959), starring John Wayne. Amid most of his film function, Wooley continued documenting and writing music. It wasn’t until 1958, nevertheless, that he previously popular of any effect, and it had been a most unforeseen melody. Wooley wrote several songs which were strikes for additional singers, especially “ARE YOU CURRENTLY Satisfied,” which surely got to quantity 11 on the united states charts as documented by Rusty Draper in 1955. Wooley experienced always displayed something special for parody, as well as the music he finally scaled the pop graphs with was “Crimson People Eater,” a parody of varied pop tradition crazes including monster films (some individuals at that time recommended — improperly — the sci-fi/horror traditional The Blob, starring Steve McQueen, that was released at around once as Wooley’s music, was practically a film from the music). Wooley needed to fight to obtain the melody released, and it eventually became one of the primary strike singles in the annals of MGM Information. He was struggling to follow-up the achievement of “Crimson People Eater,” nevertheless, and it wasn’t until 1962 that he previously another hit, this time around a nation chart-topper known as “That’s MY FATHER.” In 1958, Wooley was ensemble within the function of Pete Nolan in the tv screen Traditional western Rawhide, starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood, which premiered in January of 1959. He afterwards composed some scripts for the series aswell, and in 1959, to be able to accomplish open public demand for a documenting from the series’ name melody, he documented his own edition from the Rawhide theme music and a whole album of Traditional western songs, which didn’t graph. He later documented an recording of folk-style materials that premiered within the wake from the MGM wide-screen epic blockbuster film How the Western Was Won, but this also didn’t capture on with the general public. His film function continued during this time period, and it had been because of film and tv commitments that he was struggling to record the music “Don’t Go Close to the Indians.” Rather, former film cowboy/vocalist Rex Allen documented it and got popular with it. In response to his misfortune, Wooley cut a tale parody follow-up towards the music, entitled “Don’t Proceed Close to the Eskimos,” and developed a fresh, inebriated comic persona to provide it. “Ben Colder” was created with “Don’t Move Close to the Eskimos,” as well as for the others of his profession Wooley — in a way anticipating the large amount of David Johansen/Buster Poindexter — needed to divide his time taken between performances as “direct” nation/cowboy vocalist Sheb Wooley and drunken comic Ben Colder. (A number of the various other brands that Wooley acquired considered because of this persona, regarding to one supply, had been “Ben Freezin” and “Klon Dyke”). In 1969, once the nation music display Hee Haw continued the environment, Wooley became the show’s citizen songwriter, offering the series’ comic musical quantities. Ben Colder continued to have many more strikes, including “Nearly Persuaded No. 2,” and in 1968 the Colder persona was voted Comedian of the entire year. Wooley continued documenting under both guises in to the 1980s, although his last graph one in either persona dated back again to 1971. In 1998, Wooley was identified as having leukemia and spent another couple of years in and out of private hospitals battling the problem. On Sept 16, 2003 Sheb Wooley passed on at age 82. The prior year Wooley have been honored by Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson, who described the vocalist/songwriter/acting professional as an “American treasure.”

Quick Facts


Full Name Sheb Wooley
Died September 16, 2003, Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Height 1.87 m
Profession Actor, Singer-songwriter, Radio personality
Nationality American
Spouse Linda Wooley
Children Shauna Wooley, Christie Wooley
Parents Ora E. Wooley, William C. Wooley
Music Songs The Purple People Eater, That's My Pa, Don't Go Near the Eskimos, Fifteen Beers Ago, Only for You, Santa Claus Meets the Purple People Eater, Are You Satisfied, Blue Guitar, Monkey Jive, Tie a Tiger Down, Hoot Owl Boogie, Oklahoma Honky Tonk Girl, I Can't Believe You're Mine, Sweet Chile, Luke the Spook, Laughin' the Blues, Meet Mr. Lonely, How the West Was Won, Hello Wall No. 2, Mule Boogie, Wild and Wooley, Big Unruly Me, Almost Persuaded, Pygmy Love, Harper Valley P.T.A., White Lightnin', Walkin Guitar, I Remember Loving You, Flying Purple People Eater, The One Man Band, The Taste of Ashes, My Only Treasure, Little Green Apples
Albums Warm and Wooley, Grumpy Old Matelot, Big Ben Strikes Again, Chips off the Old Bloke No 2, Life in a Blue Suit, Chip off the Old Bloke No 1, Wild Again, Sailors on a Train, Titanium Hits, Shakey Breaky Car, Overboard, Songs from the Days of Rawhide / Sings That's My Pa and That's My Ma and Other Selections, The Classic Country Collection, Rawhide/How the West Was Won, Pompey 'Til I Die, Hillbilly Mambo, Best Country Music, That's My Pa - Cowboy Essentials, Country - Great Hits, Wild And Wooley, Big Unruly Me, 22 Greatest Hits Of Sheb Wooley Or Do You Say Ben Colder, Top 65 Classics - The Very Best of Sheb Wooley, The Purple People Eater, Goodbye Texas, Hello Tennessee, 1950 - 1962, Cowboy Essentials, That's My Pa, Texas Tango
Nominations Academy of Country Music Award for Country Comedy Act
Movies High Noon, Hoosiers, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Silverado, Man Without a Star, Rio Bravo, Giant, Ride a Violent Mile, Rocky Mountain, The Boy from Oklahoma, Trooper Hook, Sky Full of Moon, Hellgate, The War Wagon, Johnny Guitar, Distant Drums, Uphill All the Way, Cattle Town, The Black Whip, The Oklahoman, Country Boy
TV Shows Rawhide


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 In 1969 Wooley was one of the original members of the cast of Hee Haw (1969), the-long running country slapstick series. He also wrote the familiar theme song. He left the show after only filming 13 episodes due to other professional demands. He returned from time to time as a guest.
2 He got the idea for his hit song, Purple People Eater, when a friend of his mentioned that his young son came home from elementary school with a joke he had heard: "What has one eye, one horn, flies and eats people?" "A one-eyed, one-horned flying people eater!".
3 It is believed that he may be the person who recorded the famous Wilhelm Scream for the movie Distant Drums (1951). He was one of the few actors assembled for the recording of additional vocal elements for the film. It is very likely he was asked on the spot to perform other things for the film, including the screams for a "man getting bit by an alligator" (as the Wilhelm Scream takes were slated).
4 Was one of the four gunslingers who stalked Gary Cooper in the western film classic High Noon (1952) (for the record, the others were Ian MacDonald, Robert J. Wilke, Lee Van Cleef).
5 The running lyric to Sheb's huge novelty song hit went like this: "It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater." It spent six weeks at No. 1 and sold 3 million copies in 1958. Other silly songs included "Talk Back Blubbering Lips," "Sunday Morning Fallin' Down," "Harper Valley PTA (Later That Same Day)," "The Happiest Squirrel in the Whole U.S.A." and "Fifteen Beers Ago." He also recorded the parody "Don't Go Near the Eskimos," based on Rex Allen's 1962 hit "Don't Go Near the Indians.".
6 Formed his own radio band, The Plainview Melody Boys, at the age 15.
7 Awarded Comedian of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1968.
8 His wife Linda was also his manager.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection 1991 Video
Murder, She Wrote 1990 TV Series Billy Ray Parker
Purple People Eater 1988 Harvey Skitters
Hoosiers 1986 Cletus
Uphill All the Way 1986 Anson Sudro
Silverado 1985 Cavalry Sergeant
The Dollmaker 1984 TV Movie Mr. Kendrick
The Outlaw Josey Wales 1976 Travis Cobb
The Young Rebels 1970 TV Series
Mod Squad 1969 TV Series Wild Bill Hannachek
The War Wagon 1967 Snyder
Country Boy 1966 Sheb Wooley
Rawhide 1959-1965 TV Series Pete Nolan
Death Valley Days 1965 TV Series Jeb Slade / Fred Nelson
Rio Bravo 1959 Cowboy (scenes deleted)
Terror in a Texas Town 1958 Baxter (uncredited)
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp 1956-1957 TV Series Rex Jones / Luke McGuire
Ride a Violent Mile 1957 Jonathan Long
Tales of Wells Fargo 1957 TV Series Lenny
Maverick 1957 TV Series Sheriff
Sugarfoot 1957 TV Series Pete Martin
Trooper Hook 1957 Cooter Brown
Playhouse 90 1957 TV Series
The Oklahoman 1957 Cowboy / Henchman (uncredited)
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin 1954-1957 TV Series Gang Member / Monte / Morgan / ...
The Ford Television Theatre 1957 TV Series Tag Bailey
Cheyenne 1957 TV Series Chev Jones
The Black Whip 1956 Bill Lassater
Zane Grey Theater 1956 TV Series Brock
Giant 1956 Gabe Target
My Friend Flicka 1956 TV Series Harry Runyon
Cavalry Patrol 1956 TV Movie Lank Clee
Trial 1955 Butteridge (uncredited)
The Second Greatest Sex 1955 Silas - Jones City Leader
The Lone Ranger 1953-1955 TV Series Tex / Hatton / Don Wyman / ...
Man Without a Star 1955 Latigo
The Adventures of Kit Carson 1953-1955 TV Series Johnny / Walt Denton / Rand 'Doc' Hale / ...
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 1954 Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Johnny Guitar 1954 Posseman (uncredited)
Rocky Jones, Space Ranger 1954 TV Series Lawson
Arrow in the Dust 1954 Trooper (uncredited)
Stories of the Century 1954 TV Series Jim Younger
Rose Marie 1954 Corporal (uncredited)
The Boy from Oklahoma 1954 Pete Martin
Texas Bad Man 1953 Mack
The Range Rider 1953 TV Series Saber Jack Tyrell / Baxter Vale / Ed Harrison
Sky Full of Moon 1952 Balladeer (voice)
The Cisco Kid 1952 TV Series Bill Bronson / Roy Stokes
Toughest Man in Arizona 1952 Army Officer (uncredited)
The Lusty Men 1952 Gambler with Buster (uncredited)
Cattle Town 1952 Miller
Hellgate 1952 Neill Price
High Noon 1952 Ben Miller
Fireside Theatre 1951-1952 TV Series
Bugles in the Afternoon 1952 Gen. George Armstrong Custer (uncredited)
Distant Drums 1951 Pvt. Jessup (uncredited)
Fort Worth 1951 Outrider (uncredited)
Little Big Horn 1951 Quince
Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison 1951 Chick Fullis (uncredited)
Apache Drums 1951 Townsman (uncredited)
Rocky Mountain 1950 Kay Rawlins

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 2015 TV Series writer - 1 episode
The German Doctor 2013 writer: "Purple People Eater" " - uncredited
One Hit Wonderland TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode, 2012 writer - 1 episode, 2012
Monsters vs. Aliens 2009 performer: "Purple People Eater" / writer: "Purple People Eater"
Fetching Cody 2005 performer: "Listening For Your Footsteps" / writer: "Listening For Your Footsteps"
Contact 1997 writer: "Purple People Eater"
Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection 1991 Video performer: "Purple People Eater" / writer: "Purple People Eater" - as Wooley
Kidsongs: Very Silly Songs 1991 Video short writer: "The Purple People Eater"
Parents 1989 performer: "Purple People Eater" / writer: "Purple People Eater"
Purple People Eater 1988 performer: "The Purple People Eater" / writer: "The Purple People Eater"
Aloha Summer 1988 performer: "Purple People Eater" / writer: "Purple People Eater"
DTV: Pop & Rock 1984 Video performer: "The Purple People Eater" / writer: "The Purple People Eater"
The Outlaw Josey Wales 1976 performer: "Rose of Alabamy Reprise", "Cripple Creek", "The Irish Washerwoman" - uncredited
Wild Rovers 1971 performer: "Wild Rover"
The Split 1968 lyrics: "A Good Woman's Love" / music: "A Good Woman's Love" / performer: "A Good Woman's Love"
Country Boy 1966 performer: "Draggin' the River' / writer: "Draggin' the River'
Hootenanny Hoot 1963 performer: "Hootenanny Hoot", "Building a Railroad" / writer: "Hootenanny Hoot"
Rawhide 1960 TV Series performer - 2 episodes
Many Rivers to Cross 1955 performer: "Higher Up The Berry Tree"

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Rawhide 1961 TV Series story - 1 episode

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hee Haw 1969 TV Series Himself
The Kraft Music Hall 1968 TV Series Himself
Shivaree 1966 TV Series Himself
Hootenanny 1964 TV Series Himself / Himself - Performer
Hootenanny Hoot 1963 Himself
The Juke Box Jury 1958-1959 TV Series Himself
Studio One in Hollywood 1958 TV Series Himself
The Ed Sullivan Show 1958 TV Series Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Official Drummer 2016 TV Special The Yell
Aparté 2015 TV Mini-Series documentary
DTV: Pop & Rock 1984 Video Himself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1992 Golden Boot Golden Boot Awards
1962 Bronze Wrangler Western Heritage Awards Fictional Television Drama Rawhide (1959) · Endre Bohem (producer)
· George Templeton (director)
· John Dunkel (writer)
· Paul Brinegar (actor)
· Eric Fleming (actor)
· Clint Eastwood (actor)
· Darren McGavin (actor)
1961 Bronze Wrangler Western Heritage Awards Fictional Television Drama Rawhide (1959) · Ted Post (director)
· Charles Marquis Warren (producer)
· John Dunkel (writer)
· Dan O'Herlihy (actor)
· Paul Brinegar (actor)
· Eric Fleming (actor)
· Clint Eastwood (actor)


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#Quote
1 [on how he got the idea for his "Purple People Eater" hit song] The Space Age was upon us. Everyone was thinking about rockets and wondering if maybe we would find people up there. A songwriter friend of mine told me his son had come home from school with a joke about a people eater from space. I wrote the song in a matter of minutes--just dashed it off as a sort of afterthought.
2 I came out to Hollywood to become a singing cowboy but when I got here in 1950 they didn't want any singing cowboys, even if you had your own guitar. So I got into the other end of the cowboy business and played mostly heavies in my film career.


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