Johnny Cash to Elvis, Billy Edd Wheeler plays Montreat
Songwriter, author, recording artist, playwright, painter and humorist Billy Edd Wheeler will be in Montreat on Wednesday, July 27, at 2:30 p.m. to share his fascinating story and talents. The public is invited to this program in Upper Anderson Auditorium.
Wheeler has received 13 awards from ASCAP for songs recorded by some of the most renowned artists, including Elvis, The Kingston Trio, Bobby Darin, Pat Boone AND Judy Collins. Johnny Cash and June Carter recorded Wheeler's famous song, “Jackson,” which earned a Grammy for Cash and Carter. Wheeler's songs have sold more than 57 million records for 150 recording artists. His song “Coward of the County” was made into a movie starring Kenny Rogers.
The multi-talented Wheeler is the author of a dozen plays, as well as four outdoor dramas, including the long running "Hatfields & McCoys" in West Virginia. He authored or co-authored several books of humor, including "Laughter in Appalachia."
“Now that I am on the back nine of life, to put it in golfing terms, I am no longer seeking play writing opportunities or commissions," he has said. "This is to give me more time to paint, work on a book of memoirs and perform occasionally with Nashville buds and with the 'Elvi' - me, Rich Bellando and Doug Orr, retired president of Warren Wilson College. We imitate Elvis impersonators just for fun. In the tomfoolery category, we wear jumpsuits, wigs and large glasses, wiggling around without showing any signs of embarrassment."
Wheeler has been inducted into the Music Hall of Fame of West Virginia and North Carolina, as well as the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. He has acquired many other awards for his music and his writing. Also, many of his paintings are on display at the Seven Sisters' Gallery in Black Mountain through Aug. 28.
The July 27 program is sponsored by the Montreat Adult Summer Club, formed in 1911 to provide entertaining and educational programs on a wide range of topics. It is traditional to give a $1 at the door to cover the cost of refreshments.