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Sheb Wooley Dies; Started in Radio

Sheb Wooley Dies; Started in Radio

Performer Sheb Wooley died Tuesday in Nashville, according to a publicist’s statement. He had leukemia. Wooley was 82.
Known to TV and film viewers as an original cast member of “Hee Haw” and performer of the novelty song “Purple People Eater,” he was a songwriter and actor who earlier had radio shows in Oklahoma and, later, on WLAC and WSM in Nashville in the 1940s. He also had a show on the Calumet Radio Network.
Wooley signed with Bullet Records and MGM Records. After moving to Hollywood in the 1950s, he appeared in films including “High Noon,” “War Wagon,” “Giant” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” He played Pete Nolan in the TV series “Rawhide” and had a hit song in 1958 with “Purple People Eater.” He also recorded parody songs under the name Ben Colder.