The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 September 2003

Purple people everywhere mourn

In Erick, Oklahoma, there's an intersection: Sheb Wooley Avenue and Roger Miller Boulevard.

Roger Miller died in 1992, dang him, and now Sheb Wooley's gone too — leukemia, at age 82.

Wooley's biggest hit under his own name was the 1958 novelty "Purple People Eater", reportedly the answer to a kid's riddle; later, he penned the theme to Hee Haw, and released a number of wacky (and ostensibly inebriated) country-music parodies under the name "Ben Colder". A fulsome Colder couplet:

I shot a DJ up in Reno who wouldn't play my song Now all the DJs round the country, they play me loud and long

And Wooley sustained an acting career as well; he was Pete Nolan in the Fifties western Rawhide, which also featured a young fellow named Clint Eastwood.

Still, most people who remember Sheb will remember the one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater who wanted to get a job in a rock and roll band, and I bet that was just fine with him.


Posted at 11:16 AM to Tongue and Groove

TrackBack: 1:59 AM, 22 September 2003
» The Cul-de-Sac for Monday, September 22 from suburban blight
Good morning, bloggers and blog aficionados! Welcome to the Cul-de-Sac, my eternal quest to figure out what's what in my ever-expanding blog neighborhood. This week, I thought I'd kick her off by answering a few of the most commonly asked......[read more]

Well bless my soul. RIP, Sheb...and may you finally see the elusive purple people eaters that you sang about.

Posted by: David at 8:41 PM on 17 September 2003

And in Waukesha, Wisconsin, they have the intersection of Saint Paul and Les Paul.

Posted by: triticale at 9:39 PM on 23 September 2003