Onie Wheeler

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Onie Wheeler (November 10, 1921–May 26, 1984) was an American country and bluegrass musician.

Wheeler was born in Senath, Missouri, and learned to play guitar and harmonica as a child. After serving in World War II, he started working in radio, appearing on stations in Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan, and Kentucky. In 1950, he formed The Ozark Cowboys, along with Ernest Thompson, A.J. Nelson and Doyal Nelson.

The Ozark Cowboys went to Nashville in 1953 and signed to Columbia Records. Their initial releases were not hits, though Lefty Frizzell took the Wheeler-penned "Run 'Em Off" to the Top Ten of the U.S. country chart.

Wheeler signed as a solo artist to Sun Records in 1957 and went on tour with Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Carl Perkins. After a short time living in California, he returned to Nashville and recorded for several more labels in the 1960s. Later, he toured with George Jones and Roy Acuff.

His biggest success was 1973 hit "John's Been Shucking My Corn," though the success of his daughter Karen would eclipse his own in the decade. He bought a guitar shop in Nashville in the late 1970s, and played at the Grand Ole Opry at times with Acuff. Wheeler was onstage playing with Rev. Jimmie Snow in 1984 when he collapsed and died of a heart attack.[1]


Year Title Label
1955 "Little Mama" / "She Wiggled and Giggled" Columbia Records
1956 "I Wanna Hold My Baby" / "Onie's Bop" Columbia Records
1956 "A Booger Gonna Getcha / "A Beggar For Your Love" Columbia Records 4-40787
1957 "'Goin' Back To The City" / "Steppin' Out" Columbia Records
1959 "Tell 'Em Off" / "Jump Right Out Of This Jukebox" Sun Records
1960 "Too Hot To Handle" / "I Need To Go Home" K-Ark Records/Scottie Records
1961 "You're Getting All Over Me" / "All Day, All Night, All Wast" K-Ark Records
1961 "White Lightning Cherokee" / "My Stubborn Heart" K-Ark Records
1973 "John's Been Shucking My Corn" / Make 'Em All Go Home Royal American
  • "Bonaparte's Retreat"
  • "Hazel"
  • "I'll Love You For A Life Time"
  • "Long Gone"
  • "That's All"
  • "Walkin' Shoes"
Sun Records (not released)