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|Wooley in 1971|
|Full name||Shelby Fredrick Wooley|
|Also known as||Ben Colder|
|Birthday/Birthplace||(1921-04-10)April 10, 1921
Erick, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Deceased||September 16, 2003(2003-09-16)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Genre(s)||Country, pop music|
Sheb Wooley (April 10, 1921 – September 16, 2003) was an American character actor, as well as a singer, best known for his hit 1958 track “The Purple People Eater. As an actor, his performance as Miller, brother of Frank Miller in the film High Noon, as well as his character in the television series Rawhide, was known.
His full name was Shelby F. Wooley , and he was born in Erick, Oklahoma. He grew up on a farm and learned to ride at an early age, working as a cowboy and rodeo rider. In addition, he played in a country and western music group.
Wooley tried to enlist during the Second World War, but was rejected because of the aftermath that he presented due to his activity at the rodeo. Instead, he worked in the oil industry as a welder. In 1946 he moved to Fort Worth, Texas, and devoted himself to country and western music.
Wooley performed in dozens of westerns from the 1950s to the 1970s, including High Noon, The Outlaw Josey Wales and Gigante. In 1954 he was the outlaw Jim Younger in the television series Stories of the Century. Wooley played Carl five times on the show The Adventures of Kit Carson (1951-1955). He also participated in The Cisco Kid as Bill Bronson, and was Harry Runyon in the episode “The Unmasking” of CBS western My Friend Flicka.
Wooley was, along with Eric Fleming, Clint Eastwood, and Paul Brinegar, one of the protagonists, with the role of Pete Nolan, of the Western series of the CBS Rawhide (1959-1966).
At the end of the 1950s Wooley started a recording career, recording the song that he would make famous, “Purple People Eater”. This theme was followed by a series of successes in a more orthodox style. Wooley also wrote the main theme of the television show Hee Haw. Wooley also had several country hits. Thus, “That’s My Pa” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs list in March 1962.
He also regularly participated in Hee Haw and The Muppet Show, like drunk country musician Ben Colder . With this name he wrote and sang in real life. Wooley wanted to record the song “Do not Go Near The Indians”, but his interpretive work postponed the album. Meanwhile, Rex Allen recorded the song, which was a success. Wooley said he would make a sequel. His version was “Do not Go Near the Eskimos,” and it was about an Alaskan boy named Ben Colder (play on the cold in Alaska). This version was so successful that the singer continued using the name for 40 years, being one of his last songs “Shaky Breaky Car”.
Wooley is the actor who gave voice to Cry Wilhelm, having acted as an extra voice in Far Drums This recording of a scream has been used as a sound effect in more than 149 films.
Wooley continued to act occasionally on television and in the movies throughout the eighties and nineties, highlighting his role as Cletus Summers in the 1986 film Hoosiers.
In 1996 he was diagnosed with leukemia, and died of the disease at the Skyline Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2003, at 82 years of age. He was buried at Hendersonville Cemetery Gardens in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
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