Billy Edd Wheeler to attend West Virginia Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Ceremony finale - The Reverend Mr. Black - to pay tribute to the rich career of the 2007 WVMHoF inductee

Billy Edd Wheeler will attend The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame’s Induction Ceremony on April, 4. In addition to inducting the “Class of 2020,” the evening marks the official release of the WVMHoF’s CD tribute to Wheeler: “Courting the Muse: The Songs of Billy Edd Wheeler.”

A poet, a playwright and a painter, the Boone County native is one of West Virginia's true Renaissance Men. Wheeler will sign CDs in the Great Hall before and after the show.

Tim O’Brien and Greg Blake will perform “Coal Tattoo” during the pre-show segment. The evening’s finale will be an all-hands-on-deck version of “The Reverend Mr. Black,” Wheeler’s first commercial hit. The song was a Top 10 hit for The Kingston Trio in 1963 and Johnny Cash recorded it in 1981.

This year’s WVMHoF’s Induction Ceremony welcomes five musicians into the WV Music Hall of Fame: Honey and Sonny Davis (presented by renown WV musicians Tim and Mollie O’Brien), Larry Groce (presented by “Mountain Stage” co-founders Andy Ridenour and Francis Fisher), The Hammons Family (presented by filmmaker/photographer Carl Fleischhauer and musician/author Gerry Milnes), and Mayf Nutter (presented by Pat Boone).

The living inductees - Ethel Caffie-Austin, Sonny Davis, Larry Groce, and Mayf Nutter - will be present to accept their awards and perform. In addition, there will be performances by Pat Boone, Charlie McCoy, Tim and Mollie O’Brien, John Ellison, Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller, Vince Herman, Annie Neeley, and Trevor Hammons. The house band will be led by 2008 WVMHoF inductee Charlie McCoy.

The show hosts are Leftover Salmon founder Vince Herman and Emily Miller of The Sweetback Sisters.

Doors will open for the gala ceremony at 7 p.m. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. General admission and VIP tickets are now on sale.

General admission tickets to the ceremony are $75 in advance or $95 at the door. VIP tickets are $250 and include preferred seating at the ceremony, admittance to the VIP Reception at the Governor’s Mansion on April 3, and the after-show party at Charleston Marriott Town Center on April 4.

Tickets are available at Taylor Books in downtown Charleston, and through The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame web site ( and the WVMHoF office (304/342-4412).

Bios, photos and music samples are available on the WV Music Hall of Fame web site (

For more information:

  • Call: 304/342-4412
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Continuing its series of tribute CDs, The WV Music Hall of Fame’s latest release features a wide-ranging collection of songs written by Billy Edd Wheeler, one of West Virginia’s most prolific and successful songwriters.

The disc includes a baker’s dozen songs recorded by a “Who’s Who” of WV musicians: Tim O’Brien, Kathy Mattea, Larry Groce, Bob Thompson, Julie Adams, Susanna Robinson, Richard Hefner, Ron Sowell, Mark Cline Bates, Sarah Rudy, Annie Neeley, Todd Burge, The Sycomores, John Lilly, and The Carpenter Ants.

The tracks include “Jackson,” “Coal Tattoo,” “Blistered,” “High Flyin’ Bird,” “Coming of the Roads,” “Red-Winged Blackbird,” “A Baby Again,” “Hillbilly Bossa Nova,” “Chain Gang of Love,” “The Big Put On,” “They Can’t Put it Back,” “Ann,” and “Winter Sky.”

In addition, there are three bonus tracks; a live version of “High Flyin’ Bird” by The Tim O’Brien Band from “Mountain Stage”; “Nervous as an Outhouse Rat” (Billy Edd Wheeler’s spoken word intro to “The Rev. Mr Black”); and the finale of “The Reverend Mr. Black” from the WVMHoF’s tribute show at Carnegie Hall in 2018.

A partial list of artists who have recorded his songs includes: Johnny Cash, June Carter, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, The Kingston Trio, Nancy Sinatra, Hazel Dickens, Neil Young, Richie Havens, and the Jefferson Airplane.

The CD is available from the WVMHoF’s website, at Taylor Books (downtown Charleston), at the WVMHoF’s office (304/342-4412) and store in the Charleston Town Center.