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Who Sheb Wooley / Ben Colder
When September 17, 2003
Where Hendersonville, TN
What 'Purple People Eater' singer dead at 82
 

(Excerpt from the article mentioned above)

Sheb Wooley, a veteran actor in westerns like "High Noon" who also recorded the No. 1 pop ditty "Purple People Eater," has died, his wife said. He was 82.

Wooley suffered from leukemia beginning in 1996 and was hospitalized Monday at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville. He had just paid respects to American music legend Johnny Cash on Sunday, said his wife Linda.

"It was just his time to go," she said.

Wooley, who died Tuesday, appeared in more than 60 movies, acted in some 50 television shows and recorded pop and country songs.

On the big screen, Wooley appeared in mostly westerns beginning in 1950. His credits included "High Noon" (as a whiskey-drinking killer), "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "The War Wagon," "Distant Drums," "Man Without a Star," "Giant" and "Hoosiers."

"The Purple People Eater," about an unidentified flying object, sold 3 million copies in 1958 as a No. 1 pop record.

He also wrote the theme song of the long-running TV show "Hee Haw."

Born Shelby F. Wooley in Erick, Oklahoma, he spent his early years on his father's farm. As a teenager, he did some rodeo riding that helped him find jobs later in movie westerns. A genuine cowboy, he participated in a six-day cattle drive in Montana in 1989.

In high school, he formed a band and later had a network radio show for three years. He signed with MGM Records before making his way into movies.

Funeral services will be at "high noon" Monday, at his request, at First Baptist Church in nearby Hendersonville.

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