Sharon Sheeley, 62; as Teen, Wrote 1950s Hit ‘Poor Little Fool’

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Sharon Sheeley, 62, who in her teens wrote the 1950s hit “Poor Little Fool,” died Friday at Sherman Oaks Hospital Medical Center of complications after a cerebral hemorrhage.

Sheeley was still in high school in Newport Beach when she wrote the song. In 1958 and 1959, a recording of “Poor Little Fool” by Rick Nelson--a teen idol who grew up on his parents’ “Ozzie and Harriet” show--soared on the charts and sold more than 1 million copies.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. May 27, 2002 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Monday May 27, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 2 inches; 104 words Type of Material: Correction
Sheeley obituary--An obituary in the May 20 editions of The Times on songwriter Sharon Sheeley incorrectly stated that her only hit was “Poor Little Fool.” Among her other successful songs were “Dum Dum” recorded by Brenda Lee and “Something Else” recorded by Eddie Cochran and others. Sheeley, 62, died May 17 of complications from a cerebral hemorrhage.

Although Sheeley wrote no more hits, she remained an influential figure in rock circles in England and the United States in the 1960s.


She was the girlfriend of guitarist Eddie Cochran, and was with him in a taxi crash near Bath, England, on April 16, 1960. Sheeley, who lived in London for several years, escaped with a fractured pelvis, but Cochran, 21, died.

Sheeley later returned to Los Angeles, where she helped start the mid-1960s ABC-TV rock ‘n’ roll series “Shindig!” hosted by her then-husband, Jimmy O’Neill.