Sleepy LaBeef

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

Sleepy LaBeef (born Thomas Paulsley LaBeff, July 20, 1935, Smackover, Arkansas[1]) is an American rockabilly musician.

Early life[edit]

LaBeef stands 6' 6" tall[2] and was given the nickname "Sleepy" as the result of a lazy eye.[1] Born in Arkansas, the youngest of 10 children,[2] he was raised on a melon farm and moved to Houston 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.


In the 1950s, as the rockabilly component of rock-n-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]



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


  • 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)


  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,
  4. ^ Sleepy LaBeef at Allmusic
  5. ^ "Earwave Store - Sleepy LaBeef Rides Again - DVD". 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]