(November 10, 1921–May 26, 1984)
Onie Wheeler was an American country and bluegrass musician. Wheeler was born in Senath, Missouri, and learned to play guitar and harmonica as a child. After serving in World War II, he started working in radio, appearing on stations in Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan, and Kentucky. In 1950, he formed The Ozark Cowboys, along with Ernest Thompson, A.J. Nelson and Doyal Nelson.
The Ozark Cowboys went to Nashville in 1953 and signed to Columbia Records. Their initial releases were not hits, though Lefty Frizzell took the Wheeler-penned "Run 'Em Off" to the Top Ten of the U.S. country chart. Wheeler signed as a solo artist to Sun Records in 1957 and went on tour with Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Carl Perkins. After a short time living in California, he returned to Nashville and recorded for several more labels in the 1960s. Later, he toured with George Jones and Roy Acuff.
His biggest success was 1973 hit "John's Been Shucking My Corn," though the success of his daughter Karen would eclipse his own in the decade. He bought a guitar shop in Nashville in the late 1970s, and played at the Grand Ole Opry at times with Acuff. Wheeler was onstage playing with Rev. Jimmie Snow in 1984 when he collapsed and died of a heart attack.