Originally created 09/26/03

Singer/actor had sense of humor



Do you know who wrote the following immortal lyrics sung by millions of folks the world over?

"Where oh where are you tonight?

Why did you leave me here all alone?

I searched the world over, and I thought I'd found true love.

But you met another, and PTHHP! you was gone."

That song from the old television show Hee-Haw was composed by actor/singer/songwriter Sheb Wooley, who died in Nashville on Sept. 16 at age 82.

Millions know Mr. Wooley for his 1950s novelty pop hit Purple People Eater and for co-starring (as Peter Nolan) on the TV series Rawhide, which also featured a young actor named Clint Eastwood.

Older country fans also know Mr. Wooley for his biting parodies of country hits, recorded under the name of Ben Colder, his comic character who always sounded inebriated. Among those parodies were Fifteen Beers Ago, Sunday Morning Falling Down, Help Me Fake it Through the Night, Funny How Wine Sips Away and Happiest Squirrel in the Whole U.S.A.

It was as Ben Colder that he won the Country Music Association's Comedian of the Year award in 1968.

You can read more about him at shebwooley.com. You can read the additional lyrics to the Hee-Haw song at the Web site timvp.com/heehaw.html.

SAMMY BACK TONIGHT: Sammy O'Banion usually dislikes a late start for a show, but his 40th anniversary show at 9 tonight at Cadillac's nightclub on Washington Road is about two years too late.

The beach-music singer, who will perform with his seven-piece group, Mardi Gras,

made his stage debut in 1961, when he and his band, O'Banion and the Features Four, performed at the old North Augusta Teen Town.

Don Rhodes has written about country music for 32 years. He can be reached at (706) 823-3214 or at don.rhodes@morris.com.