Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sept. 16: Sheb Wooley, of "Flying Purple People Eater" fame, died on this date in 2003.

Character actor and singer, Shelby F. "Sheb" Wooley was best known for his 1958 novelty hit "Purple People Eater". Born in Erick, Oklahoma, Sheb was a working cowboy and rodeo rider, before joining a country-western band.

In the 1940s Wooley took an interest in his wife's young cousin, Roger Miller (he of "King of the Road" fame),  teaching him to play guitar chords, and purchasing him a fiddle. After "Purple People Eater," Sheb followed this a series of lesser novelty hits. He then wrote the theme song for the long-running television show "Hee Haw." He also had a string of country hits, including  "That's my Pa," which reached No. 1 on Billboard's "Hot Country & Western" chart in March 1962.

Sheb appeared in dozens of western films from the '50s through 70s, most notably High Noon. He also appeared in The Outlaw Josey Wales and Giant, as well as co-starring as Pete Nolan in the TV show Rawhide. A recording of his "Wilhelm scream" has been used by sound effects teams in over 130 films.
Press links below to view You Tube video performances:
Sheb Wooley was was 82 when he died from leukemia. 


No comments: