Purple People Eater Meets Witch Doctor


In June 1958the Big Bopper was going to record a new song called “Purple People Eater Meets Witch Doctor”, featuring two characters from popular novelty songs of the day:  the David Seville song Witch Doctor” that was mentioned already, and the Sheb Wooley hit “The Purple People Eater” about the “one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater” who wants to be a “singer in a rock and roll band”.  (Both of these characters used sped-up vocals in the songs).   


Remarkably, the Big Bopper wrote Chantilly Lace while on the way to the Gold Star Studio in Houston; he had originally intended it to be the “B” side for Purple People Eater Meets Witch Doctor, but Chantilly Lace was on the charts for 22 weeks and topped out at #6.  For shows like American Bandstand – where the performers lip-synch to their records – the Big Bopper had a hard time matching his improvised speaking parts and inflections. 


(June 2013/1)


Last edited: March 22, 2021