|Genres:||Pop / Rock|
|Tags:||rockabilly country rock and roll honky tonk rock n roll|
|Decades:||1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
|Links:||official homepage VIAF wikidata wikipedia|
Thomas Paulsey LaBeff, 20 July 1935, near Smackover, Arkansas, USA. (The family name was originally LaBoeuf). The youngest of 10 siblings, his early years were spent on the small family farm, where his father taught him to play guitar. He gained the nickname of Sleepy on his first day at school owing to heavy-lidded eyes that gave the impression that he was half asleep. In 1953, he relocated to Houston, where he worked a land surveyor and briefly to earn extra income as a wrestler - a pastime probably encouraged by his 6 feet 7 inches. After first singing gospel country on local radio and greatly inspired by the singing and guitar playing of Sister Rosetta Thorpe and Martha Lou Carson, he formed his own country/rockabilly band and played regularly on theHouston Jamboree. He first recorded as Sleepy La Beff for Starday in 1956, but later recorded, sometimes as Tommy LaBeff, for various others including Mercury Records and obscure labels such as Wayside and Dixie,...