JOHN WOOLEY is a writer, lecturer, and radio host who specializes in the movies, literature, and music of the 1930s and ‘40s as well as other pop-culture history.
He has written, co-written, or edited well over 30 books, including the new 1930’s-set epistolary horror novel The Cleansing, with Robert Brown; Right Down the Middle, the as-told-to biography of famed New York Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry, a northeastern Oklahoma boy who went on to become 1962 World Series MVP; the critically acclaimed biography of moviemaker Wes Craven, The Man and His Nightmares; and Shot in Oklahoma, a look at Sooner State-lensed pictures that was named Best Book on Oklahoma History for 2011 by the Oklahoma Historical Society. He was also guest curator for an Oklahoma History Center exhibit, Oklahoma@ the Movies.
Wooley has scripted a number of documentaries, including the Learning Channel special Hauntings across America and the recent Oklahoma Military Academy: The West Point of the Southwest. He also wrote the made-for-TV feature Dan Turner — Hollywood Detective, starring Marc Singer, Tracy Scoggins, and Arte Johnson, as well as the award-winning independent movie Cafe Purgatory. His scripting extends to comic books and graphic novels, including Plan Nine from Outer Space, Grateful Dead Comix, and Death Rattle, along with The Twilight Avenger and Miracle Squad series, which he co-created with artist Terry Tidwell.
An entertainment writer for theTulsa World newspaper for 23 years (1983-2006), Wooley has seen his articles and interviews appear in a wide range of other publications, fromTV Guide to the horror-movie magazine Fangoria, for which he wrote more than 100 pieces.
He is also the producer and host of the highly rated Swing on This, Tulsa’s only western-swing radio program, heard every Saturday night on NPR affiliate KWGS (89.5 FM); it won an Outstanding Special Programming Award from the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters in 2012. With Michael H. Price, he co-hosts the Forgotten Horrors podcasts and executive-produces, writes, co-produces, and co-hosts the public-television series Film Noir Theatre, which began its run in late 2014. His work in music extends to songwriting and performing: “Gone Away,” which he co-wrote with Steve Ripley and Tim DuBois, was the first single from Ripley’s 2003 solo disc, receiving international airplay. Later, it was covered for the country market by Bill Anderson with the Oak Ridge Boys. He has played Vox organ on discs by Ripley, the Red Dirt Rangers, and others. Currently, he works with the band The Moody Dudes, which played a sold-out show at Tulsa’s SummerStage Festival in 2017.