The Purple People Eater

Song Video

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'.

Listen to this song's music


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Chloe, Canada

4 November 2014 at 11:53pm

Love it!!

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Chloe Gioia, Canada

8 September 2014 at 11:09pm

I'm so glad this is a BusSong!

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amani watson, United States

26 September 2013 at 9:01pm

It needs water chickens

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Allison, United States

28 May 2012 at 7:16pm

We just got back from vacation and we were trying to remember the words to this song when we were driving home! So glad we have them now! Thanks!

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Lily Davis, United States

26 April 2012 at 6:44pm

You r wrong ch&unknown i sung this & i am 8 13 times 13=16. Bye.

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Ch, United States

24 October 2011 at 11:37pm

thats awsome!

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Unknown, United States

14 May 2011 at 3:04pm

we always use this in my school's Halloween show!

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Unknown, United States

14 May 2011 at 3:01pm


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Amber, United States

19 February 2011 at 11:54pm

When my friends and I were young w eused to belt this out on the bus.

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Isa, United States

16 December 2010 at 9:13pm

That thing would be dead because there arn`t any purple people to eat. But this song is very funny and i love the video! :)

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Changpu, China

10 December 2010 at 2:50pm

i purple cats does that count?

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Deb, United States

7 November 2010 at 3:26am

Haven't heard this in a very long time. It still puts a smile on my face.

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Krystal, Australia

10 October 2010 at 11:46pm

i like the song as well my mum calls me the purple people eater because i dyed my hair purple i had never heard of it intill she started doing that

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Barbara, Magna, Utah

28 September 2010 at 11:59pm

Cute video-clip but wasn't it a one-eyed, one-horned purple people-eater?

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Ellen, Aust, Vic

5 June 2010 at 1:59am

first time i heard this song when i was little i thought it ate purple

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Makaylak, Old Saybrook Conecticut

12 March 2010 at 12:54am

Purple People!? are u krazy?!?

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Zoolak, Treeland, Mars

3 May 2009 at 9:41pm

Well, im a purple people eater, and this song is offending! sheez, what you humans will do to get famous! >.<

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Kenzie, Spiceland

7 March 2009 at 1:38pm

I love this song it is awesome!

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Abbie, Midland Ga

11 February 2009 at 10:52pm

its such a funny song! the first time i herd i wuz...well 11

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Raiyla, Dalton United States

11 January 2009 at 9:27pm

I love this song its funny, it sticks in my head for days...

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