Shep Wooley

Shep Wooley is a comedian, singer, songwriter, and entertainer. Find his biography and art examples here.


Shep Wooley’s book is the most comprehensive of all entertainment autobiographies, not just those of comedians, and not only because of Shep’s predictably exquisite writing. Unlike most autobiographies, it seems to communicate a clear-eyed honesty as Shep attempts to de-mythologize his own life, which the rest of us have so mythologized, particularly his days as a stadium-filling stand-up comic in the 1970s.


Shep recorded his first recordings for RCA Victory in Nashville on January 10, 1956. RCA Victor enlisted guitarist Chet Atkins and three background singers, including Gordon Stoker of the popular Jordanaires quartet, to supplement Shep’s by-now customary backup of Moore, Black, Fontana, and Hayride pianist Flzoyd Cramxer—who had been performing at live club dates with Shep —to fill in the sound. The gloomy, unique “Heartbreak Hotel” emerged from the session and was released as a single on January 27. Parker booked Shep on CBS’s Stage Show for six performances over two months, bringing him on national television for the first time.


Shep is also a well-known actor. Shep Wooley got his biggest role yet in 1994, on “ERA,” as Moug Rossy. During his five-year tenure on the NBC medical drama, he received two Primetime Emmy nods and three Golden Globe nominations, making him a household celebrity. You’re a true movie star!

Shep Wooley has a lot of talents

Shep, 54, has already established himself as a stand-up comedian. Shep has the sort of career one would expect from a professional comedian, having released four comedy CDs. Shep, despite his young look, is a seasoned veteran. Sheps performance includes guitar and keys, as well as non-traditional musical moments as when he knocked a bottle of water off his seat and then danced to a pre-recorded song telling the audience that he intended to knock the water over in 2013's what. As a consequence, his act is more akin to a variety show than a stand-up special. Shep, who swings between being sympathetic and being a jerk, finds the humor in the middle, revealing what viewers may think but never say. His song "Sad" is about some really terrible things, but it's how he delivers it on stage that sets him apart. In many respects, Shep seems at comfortable criticizing the comic who makes money off of people's misery and pain.

American singer – Ben Colder

Sheb Wooley Ben Colder is best remembered among pop culture scholars for his late-’50s rock & roll/comedy smash “Purple People Eater,” which sold over three million copies. Sheb Wooley is the real deal, or as close to it as one can get in current times, among country music lovers, especially listeners of cowboy ballads. He was a rodeo rider since he was a child, and as a teenager, he was making a living on the circuit before turning to music as a vocation. Before he was well-known as a singer, he went to music and then acting, appearing in such Westerns as High Noon, and then spent six seasons as cowhand Pete Nolan on the television series Rawhide, all while pursuing a career in music.

Wooley had his own country band in high school, but the music didn’t pay well, so he worked as a welder in the oil fields of Oklahoma for a while. Wooley, like many other Oklahomans seeking a better life, moved to California in the late 1930s and nearly made a career carrying crates of oranges at a packing business. Wooley had married Melba Miller, the older sister of future country music singer Roger Miller, by that time. Wooley was branded 4-F (ineligible for military service) when World War II broke out due to injuries he’d sustained as a rodeo rider, and he spent much of the war working un defense plants. He made his debut recordings in 1945.

The Purple People Eater uses the word “punk” numerous more times, alluding to the fact that it has no understanding of what it means. Early rock and rockabilly, of course, predicted and laid the way for punk with their riotous, rebellious energy. Even though it was released decades before The Clash and the Sex Pistols, Frank Tashlin’s raunchy 1956 comedy The Girl Can’t Help It (with a theme song by Little Richard, who portrays the Mayor here) is about as punk as cinema gets. That isn’t the kind of punk you’ll find here, though. No, the “punk” in Purple People Eater is exclusive to this film. Then something strange happens one day. A one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater swoops in from outer space to play what sounds like a lengthy saxophone solo on his musical horn while Billy is listening to some beloved 45s of classic rock and roll. I was surprised to learn that “Purple,” the title character, was “fabricated” by the legendary Chiodo Brothers, whose credits include Critters, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, and The Simpsons because the character appears to be a little person stunt man dressed up in a store-bought purple monster Halloween costume.Purple may appear to be trash, but his personality is just as bad. Purple chastises Billy for playing an instrument with his hands, saying, “You play with your hands?” Play with your emotions. After that, the film makes no attempt to keep Purple hidden from the audience.

Lineup from the start and Future Games

The group’s original roster comprised Randy California (born Randy Craig Wolfe; guitars, vocals), Mark Andes Jay Ferguson, and others from the Red Roosters, a Los Angeles band (vocals, percussion). The new band was originally called the Spirits Rebellious (after a novel by Kahlil Gibran), but the name was soon shortened to Spirit with the addition of California’s stepfather Ed Cassidy on drums and keyboard player John Locke. California had previously performed with Jimi Hendrix as a member of Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in New York City’s Greenwich Village in 1966, before returning to his home state. Randy Wolfe was given the nickname “Randy California” by Jimi Hendrix to distinguish him from Randy Palmer, whom he dubbed “Randy Texas.”


Barry Hansen, better known as the radio personality Dr. Demento, recorded early demo recordings for the band in Topanga Canyon. Lou Adler (renowned for his work with The Mamas & the Papas and The Grass Roots) signed the band to his Ode Records label in August 1967. Spirit, the group’s first album, was released in 1968. The single “Mechanical World” was released (it lists the playing time merely as “very long”). The album was a success, peaking at number 31 on the Billboard 200 and remaining there for seven months. The album is the most blatantly psychedelic of their albums, with jazz influences and complex string arrangements (not present on their future efforts). [requires citation] “Fresh Garbage,” a song from the album, was included on the CBS sampler album The Rock Machine Turns You On, which was released in the UK, Europe, and South Africa in 1968 and was the UK’s first introduction to the band.

tilt selective photograph of music notes

With the success of their first album, the band released another song, “I Got a Line on You.” It became their biggest hit single, reaching number 25 on the charts a month before their second album, The Family That Plays Together, was released in November 1968. (number 28 in Canada). The album followed suit, charting at number 22. In December, they performed at the Denver Auditorium with support band Led Zeppelin, who interpolated parts of Spirit’s song “Fresh Garbage” in an extended medley based on their cover of Bob Elgin and Jerry Ragavoy’s “As Long As I Have You” (popularized by Garnet Mimms) during their early 1969 concerts. In July 1969, Spirit performed with Led Zeppelin at two outdoor music festivals.

The use of a theremin by Jimmy Page is said to have been inspired by Randy California’s use of one that he had put to his amplifier. “California’s most enduring legacy may likely be the fingerpicked acoustic motif of the song ‘Taurus,’ which Jimmy Page lifted nearly note for note for the entrance to ‘Stairway to Heaven,'” according to Guitar World magazine. In 1997, The Independent noticed the resemblance.

In an attempt to get an authorship credit for “Stairway to Heaven,” Mark Andes and a trust acting on behalf of Randy California launched a copyright infringement claim against Led Zeppelin in 2014.

The lawsuit was unsuccessful because Page denied copying “Taurus.”

In September 2018, the verdict was overturned on appeal.

The original jury verdict was reinstated by the Ninth Circuit on March 9, 2020.

“1984” and the era of Sardonicus

They’re described in the notes as “pioneers” of “topical lyrics realized through the song’s production,” which makes me think about how the opening two cuts, ‘1984’ and ‘Mechanical World,’ vary texture tempo. By the stars, I believe these guys were instrumental in the development of art-rock. The topicality is a notch above standard rock sci-fi (they have a sense of humor), and the derivations are more jazz classical. But it’s the fantastic dazzling 2:39 of hard rock guitar that’s the huge highlight here. Randy from the state of California You’ve got a line on me. Christgau’s Record Guide features a review of The Best of Spirit: Rock Albums from the 1970s Following the release of Clear, the band recorded “1984”, a song written by California and produced entirely by the band. It reached No. 69 on the Billboard charts and No. 66 on the RPM charts after its release in February 1970. In 1973, the song was ultimately released in its entirety on The Best of Spirit.

Spirit began production on their fourth album, Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, in 1970. On the recommendation of Neil Young, the band chose David Briggs, a longtime Neil Young collaborator and acquaintance from the Topanga Canyon milieu, as the producer. The album was released in late 1970 and peaked at No. 63 in the United States and No. 49 in Canada during the group’s prolific writing period.

Randy California’s “Nature’s Way,” a small hit (No. 111) composed during a performance at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, was included on the album.

Epic also issued an early version of “Animal Zoo” as a single, although it only charted at No. 97. The Who, for example. Pink Floyd’s Tommy Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, the follow-up to The Dark Side of the Moon, is regarded as a landmark of art rock, with a tapestry of literary themes about the fragility of life and the complexity of the human experience, illustrated by the recurring lyric “life has just begun,” and continued the band’s pioneering exploration of environmental issues in their lyrics (cf. “Fresh Garbage”). The album’s creative production and use of a modular Moog synthesizer are especially noteworthy. Ferguson and Andes departed the group after a promotional tour in support of the album Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, establishing Jo Jo Gunne. They were accused of plotting to take over the group in California. On January 30, 1971, they played their final show with Spirit, which almost resulted in a brawl.

Andes was first replaced by John Arliss. California was still on the bill, but he was unable to tour due to a head injury sustained in a horseback riding accident. Locke and Cassidy quickly found bassist and recent University of Texas School of Law graduate Al Staehely to take Arliss’ place. The trio went on tour for a short time before concluding that they needed to add a guitarist to properly represent the song. John Christian (Chris) Staehely, Al’s brother, auditioned for the band and was promptly hired after leaving the Texas rock band Krackerjack.

Feedback was recorded in Columbia/Hollywood Epic’s studios in 1972 by The Staehelys, Cassidy, and Locke. It was a departure for the band, with more of a country rock influence infecting their jazzier tendencies, but it only received a modest commercial response, peaking at No. 63 on the charts. While the Feedback tour went quite successfully for much of that year, Cassidy and Locke quickly exited the group due to their dislike of roots-based music. Before disbanding the ensemble in mid-1973 and recording their solo album, Sta-Hay-Lee, the Staehely brothers performed a critically acclaimed tour with drummer Stu Perry.

In the meantime, in late 1972, he recorded and released his debut solo album, Kapt. Kopter and the (Fabulous) Twirly Birds, on Epic Records. The album had a hard rock vibe, with cameos by Noel Redding (as “Clit McTorius”), Leslie Sampson (drummer from Redding’s band Road; as “Henry Manchovitz”), and Cassidy. California toured Europe with this trio under the imprimatur of Spirit after a brief tour in support of the album in the Los Angeles area with Cassidy and bassist Larry “Fuzzy” Knight, despite pressure from booking agents who wanted to capitalize on the band’s name and were not interested in his solo work. During this time, Cassidy also recorded a follow-up CD (The Adventures Of Kaptain Kopter And Commander Cassidy In Potato Land). Despite Locke’s appearance, the record was not intended to be a Spirit album at the time. After Epic rejected the final album, California relocated to Molokai, Hawaii.

The Mercury years (1974–79) were a period of transition for the planet Mercury.

Cassidy made it a priority in 1974 to locate and reconnect with his stepson. California was eventually persuaded to return to the mainland and give the band another chance. Andes worked with the duo for a while but never meant to stay because he was creating his own band, Firefall, at the same time. Former Frank Zappa sound engineer Andes took his post. Spirit was set to open for Ten Years After at a gig in Florida in early 1975, but when the headlining band backed out at the last minute, the group was given permission to take over the venue for the evening and spirit album singer songwriter. Spirit managed to sell out the 3,000-seat theatre after traveling around to local radio stations to promote the performance and setting a low ($3) ticket price. They booked as much time as they could at Studio 70 in Tampa, Florida, with the proceeds from the event. Marshall Berle (the nephew of Milton Berle) offered the stash of cassettes to Mercury Records after recording a considerable amount of material at the facility. The group was offered a contract based on the material, and a double-album called Spirit of ’76 was cut from it and released in May 1975. After the album reached No. 147 on the Billboard 200 and received some FM broadcast, they swiftly followed it up with Son of Spirit, which was released early the next year and featured several songs from the same sessions.

Locke re-joined the band for the tour in support of Son of Spirit.Andes eventually returned to the lineup, and despite Ferguson’s initial refusal to join the group reunion, the band produced an album called Farther Along in late 1976, with the addition of Mark’s brother Matt Andes as a second guitarist.

The album reintroduced the band to the US charts for the final time, reaching at No. 179. Ferguson re-joined the band for a couple gigs at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. When Neil Young stepped on stage drunk during the final show’s encore of ” Like a Rolling Stone,” he caused an uproar. California would later claim that he didn’t recognize Young, but at the moment, he was enraged with Young for sabotaging his own career. California pushed Neil backwards, away from the microphone, past the drumkit, and offstage. Young had been visiting the band backstage before their performance, along with other significant artists such as New Hollywood Hal Ashby, and Locke (a friend of Young’s) had urged the guitarist to join them in their encore. When Locke noticed California shoving Young offstage, he stood up from his piano and walked off stage, declaring that he had had enough and that he would never play with California again. Cassidy initially calmed the scene by removing his gear and physically dragging California and Young back onstage to the microphone to finish the song, inviting the audience to sing along. After concluding the song, the band members clashed backstage over the events that had led to the reunion’s termination.

young musician of the year 2021

Following that, California put together Future Games: A Magical Kahauna Dream with Cassidy’s help and some session musicians. Although Mercury approved its release in early 1977, the experimental album (which included a Hendrix-influenced cover of ” All Along the Watchtower ” and underpinned science fiction -based lyrical themes with many samples from Star Trek: The Original Series in a variant of filk ) received no promotion, ending what little bit of commercial momentum the group might have regained. It also signaled the end of their deal with Mercury (at least initially). Ferguson was having solo success at the time, with the singles ” Thunder Island ” (1977; No. 9) and ” Shakedown Cruise ” (1979; No. 31).



Shep Wooley may have seriously released their finest work to date with their latest outing “The Color”. It is a record that is deeply moving, inspiring, and touching on multiple levels.
Bradley Schofield
One of the most mysterious inventions of the post-punk era. Creating a humid, deep-focused, layered atmosphere of sound, Shep Wooley's meditative brand of evil never gives away its hand.
Mollie O'Neill
Today I've been attempting to fully digest this album. I'm on my fourth listen; I loved it right away, really enjoyed it, but it was so totally unique as a work of art that I couldn't eat it on the first attempt.
Ivanka Delić

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