About this Blog

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." So said the bleached-out, late lamented artist Andy Warhol. Having lived and worked in New York City, Warhol came to fully grasp the hold celebrity has on us. In this very famous sentence, he meant to point out that in a culture fixated on fame, many people will suddenly flash brightly onto the public screen, then--poof--will just as quickly disappear from public view--like shooting stars. Other individuals derive their celebrity from one stellar accomplishment (one hit song, one iconic role, etc.) that they never again match.

This blog is devoted to the one part of our celebrity culture that no one has written much about: temporary/one-shot celebrities.

The pace of modern life has quickened, and now we hear people speaking of someone's 15 seconds of fame. These "celebrities with a lower-case c" who will appear in this blog sometimes come to us from the world of entertainment, sometimes from the world of news. All are fascinating.

The need of our communications media for a continual stream of new material assures that we will have no end of colorful people who go quickly, where celebrity is concerned, from zero to hero (or villain) and back to zero. Now you see 'em, now you don't. What a crazy world, eh?

Temporary celebrities coming from the world of entertainment include one-hit recording artists; TV and movie icons who, although they might have had a great many accomplishments in their career, are remembered for one big role; standouts of reality TV; sports figures remembered for one remarkable accomplishment; and people whose celebrity came from one big role in a commercial or print ad.

News-based temporary celebrities come in many forms: mass/serial killers, other murderers of special note, sex-crime offenders, disgraced figures of government/military/business/media/religion, spies/traitors, hoaxers, femmes/hommes fatale, heroes, whistle blowers, inventors/innovators, and victims.

Celebrity Blogsburg will consider each category in turn.

Monday, January 19, 2009

One-hit wonder Sheb Wooley

The late Sheb Wooley had small roles in around 60 movies, such as "Giant" and "High Noon," but his lasting claim to fame was a novelty song that delighted teens in 1958, when it appeared. "The Purple People Eater" sold 3 million 45 rpm singles and was a No.1 hit. Wooley wrote an enormous nember of songs and appeared on a number of TV shows, including "Rawhide," which suited his talents inasmuch as he was an Oklahoma-born cowboy who had done rodeo riding. He stirred up some pretty good dust with his country songs during his career, but his high point was the happily nonsensical "People Eater." He died in 2003 at age 82.

1 comment:

  1. I'd say that The Purple People Eater made him perfectly immortal. Many of my happy childhood days were spent dancing to that song (along with The Monster Mash, of course.)