Sleepy LaBeef

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Go Ahead on Baby by Sleepy LaBeef, Columbia late 1960s.

Sleepy LaBeef is the stage name of Thomas Paulsley LaBeff (born July 20, 1935), an American rockabilly musician.

Early life[edit]

LaBeef was born in Smackover, Arkansas,[1] the youngest of 10 children,[2] he was raised on a melon farm. He received the nickname "Sleepy" as the result of a lazy eye.[1] He moved to Houston, Texas, when he was 18. There, he sang gospel music on local radio and put together a bar band to play venues as well as radio programs such as the Houston Jamboree and Louisiana Hayride. LaBeef stands 6.5 ft (2.0 m) tall.[2]

Career[edit]

In the 1950s, as the rockabilly component of rock and roll became evident, LaBeef began recording singles in the genre; his first, "I'm Through", was issued on Starday Records in 1957. In 1964, he moved to Nashville and moved to a more solidly country style, recording singles for Columbia Records. His first genuine hit was 1968's "Every Day", which peaked at No. 73 on the U.S. Billboard Country charts.[3] After moving to Plantation Records in 1969, he scored a second hit in 1971 with "Blackland Farmer", which charted at No. 67.[3] Around this time LaBeef also starred in the horror movie The Exotic Ones. LaBeef transferred to Sun Records in the 1970s and continued releasing albums and touring widely; his popularity flagged in America but rose in Europe.[4] The 1980s saw him sign to Rounder Records, where he released albums into the 1990s.

In January 2012, LaBeef traveled to Nashville to record a film a live concert and record in historic RCA Studio B, all produced by noted bassist Dave Pomeroy. A documentary/concert DVD,Sleepy LaBeef Rides Again and soundtrack CD was released on April 22, 2013 by Earwave Records.[5]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Title Record label
1957 "I’m Through" / "All Alone" Starday Records
1957 "I’m Through" / "All Alone" Starday-Mercury Records
1957 "All The Time" / "Lonely" Starday-Mercury Records
1958 "Ballad Of A Teenage Queen" / "Eskimo Pie" Dixie Records
1958 "Oh, Oh, I’m Falling In Love Again" / "One Week Later" Dixie Records
1960 "Found Out" / "Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind" Gulf Records Records
1961 "Turn Me Loose" / "Ridin’ Fence" Crescent Records
1962 "Ride On Josephine" / "Walkin’ Slowly" Wayside Records
1963 "Tore Up" / "Lonely" Wayside Records
1963 "Drink Up And Go Home" / "Teardrops On A Rose" Finn Records
1963 "Ride On Josephine" / "Lonely" Picture Records
1965 "You Can’t Catch Me" / "Everybody’s Got To Have Somebody" Columbia Records
1966 "A Man In My Position" / "Drinking Again" Columbia Records
1966 "I’m Too Broke" / "I Feel A Lot More Like I Do Now" Columbia Records
1961 "Ballad Of A Teenage Queen" / "The Ways Of A Woman In Love" Columbia Records
1969 "Blackland Farmer" / ? Columbia Records
---
  • "Baby, Let’s Play House"
  • "Don’t Make Me Go"
  • "Somebody’s Been Beating My Time"
  • "I Ain’t Gonna Take It"
  • "Little Bit More"
  • "Shame, Shame, Shame"
not issued

Albums[edit]

  • 1974: The Bull’s Night Out
  • 1976: Western Gold
  • 1978: Rockabilly 1977 (Sun Records)
  • 1978: Beefy Rockabilly
  • 1979: Early, Rare and Rockin’ Sides
  • 1979: Downhome Rockabilly (Sun Records)
  • 1979: Downhome Rockabilly (Charly Records, UK)
  • 1979: Rockabilly Heavyweight (with Dave Travis)
  • 1979: Sleepy LaBeef and Friends (Ace Records)
  • 1979: Sleepy LaBeef and Friends (Ace-Chiswick Records)
  • 1980: Early, Rare and Rockin’ Sides (re-release)
  • 1980: Downhome Rockabilly (re-release)
  • 1981: It Ain’t What You Eat, It's the Way How You Chew It (Rounder Records)
  • 1982: Electricity (Rounder Records)
  • 1987: Nothin’ But The Truth (Rounder Records) [live]
  • 1994: Strange Things Happen
  • 1995: The Human Jukebox (Rounder Records)
  • 1996: I’ll Never Lay My Guitar Down (Rounder Records)
  • 1996: Larger Than Life (6 CD-Box, compilation)
  • 1997: A Rockin’ Decade
  • 1999: Flyin’ Saucer Rock’n’Roll: The Very Best Of Sleepy LaBeef
  • 1999: The Bulls’s Ride Out & Western Gold
  • 2000: Tomorrow Never Comes
  • 2001: Rockabilly Blues
  • 2001: Road Warrior
  • 2003: Johnny's Blues: A Tribute To Johnny Cash (Northern Blues)[6]
  • 2008: Roots
  • 2008: Sleepy Rocks (Bear Family anthology)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Spotlight: Sleepy LaBeef". The Wisconsin State Journal. January 13, 2000. "Thomas Paulsey LaBeff was born in 1935 on a farm in Smackover, Ark....LaBeef (who got his nickname due to a lazy eye) said he felt his calling when he first saw Elvis Presley in his early days." 
  2. ^ a b "Sleepy LaBeef Returns". The Cincinnati Post. November 30, 2000. "He is 66 years old, stands 6 feet 6 inches tall... He's the last of 10 children born to the LaBoeuf family of Smackover, Ark." 
  3. ^ a b Billboard Singles, Allmusic.com
  4. ^ Sleepy LaBeef at Allmusic
  5. ^ "Sleepy LaBeef Rides Again - DVD". Earwave Store. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  6. ^ LaBeef does a version of "Frankie and Johnny", referred to as "Frankie's Man". The original song appears on the This Is Johnny Cash compilation album (Harmony, 1969; reissued 1973), among others.

External links[edit]