Information About The Purple People Eater
The Purple People Eater is a novelty song that was released and heard on the radio in 1958. It was very popular and reached number one on the Billboard Charts. a tool that measures the sales of records.
The song was written by Shelby "Sheb" Wooley, a character actor that appeared in many famous movies of the Western genre, as well as having a recurring role on the television series "Rawhide" which ran on CBS Television from 1959 - 1965.
In the 1940s, Wooley took an interest in his wife's young cousin, Roger Miller, and taught him guitar. Miller grew up to have some success as a recording star as well.
Embarking on his own recording career, Wooley wrote and recorded "The Purple People Eater", which tells the story of a strange looking creature from space, who comes to Earth because he wants to be in a rock and roll band.
The song caught the imagination of radio listeners, who drew pictures of the "Purple People Eater" and sent them in to radio stations as part of local promotions.
In the song, the "voice" of the Purple People Eater is a normal singing voice that was sped up on a tape recorder to be re-recorded. This technique was taken from an earlier 1958 song "The Witch Doctor" by Ross Bagdasarian. Bagdasarian has even more success in the future with the same technique, creating and recording songs by an imaginary group 'Alvin and the Chipmunks'.
Wooley also wrote the theme song for the long running television program 'Hee Haw'.