A veteran of rockabilly and a soulful performer has passed away at the age of 84 after more than 60 years in the music industry, a post from the singer’s family says.
Sleepy LaBeef, as he was professionally known, was born as Thomas Paulsley LaBeff, he earned his nickname because of the appearance of his eyes. For a while, he was credited as “Sleepy LaBeff” on a few rockabilly singles and later became known as Sleepy LaBeef.
Sorry to hear of the passing of Sleepy LaBeef. A kind, righteous man. Thx for being so nice in those early days. pic.twitter.com/LqP3bX02pZ
— John Howie Jr (@JohnHowieJr) December 26, 2019
In a post on his Facebook page, LaBeef’s family expresses their deep grief over the passing of their loved one.
“He lived a full and vibrant life, filled with the excitement of much travel and experience, the contentment that came from being able to spend his life doing what he loved best, and the fulfilling love of his wife, children, and grandchildren around him.
We loved him, love him, and will always love him, and will cherish the memories of the time we were blessed to be given with him in this life.
We thank you for your love and support for Sleepy throughout the years, and during this very difficult time.”
Sleepy was photographed just a few weeks ago on December 9th, singing at a home all decorated for Christmas. Nobody knew that just after the holidays, they would have to bid farewell to such a beloved rockabilly star.
Known throughout the 1950s and beyond for his songs like “Every Day” and “Blackland Farmer,” Sleepy also recorded at the famous Sun Records studio that is known for its link to the rockabilly sound.
LaBeef toured for most of his life and a photograph from October 2019 shows him singing and having a great time while on tour in Switzerland!
Watch his performance of “Strange Things Happening” and his following interview with Conan O’Brien below.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time.