Courting the Muse The Songs Of Billy Edd Wheeler
  • Red-Winged Blackbird
  • Jackson
  • The Big Put On
  • Ann
  • Chain Gang Of Love
  • Coming of the Roads
  • Blistered
  • Winter Sky
  • A Baby Again
  • High Flying Bird
  • Hillbilly Bossa Nova
  • Coal Tattoo
  • They Can't Put It Back
  • High Flyin' Bird (Recorded live on Mountain Stage)
  • Nervous as an Outhouse Rat - Billy Edd Wheeler (Spoken Word)
  • The Reverend Mr. Black (Live Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, WV)
COURTING THE MUSE: The Songs of Billy Edd Wheeler

West Virginia Music Hall Of Fame

From the bleak yet vibrant coalfields of Boone County to the heady classrooms of Yale, Billy Edd Wheeler has lived a rich and unique life bookended by startling contrasts. A poet, a playwright and a painter, he is one of West Virginia’s true Renaissance Men. But of his many gifts, his skill as a songwriter has gained him the greatest acclaim. A partial list of artists who have recorded his songs is a testimony to the depth of his songwriting: Johnny Cash, June Carter, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, The Kingston Trio, Nancy Sinatra, Hazel Dickens, Neil Young, Richie Havens, and the Jefferson Airplane. Billy Edd’s renown as a songwriter is a direct result of his determination, hard work, chutzpah - and an abundance of God-given talent. But it’s his remarkable eye for detail and irony that sets his work apart. He develops his characters with the skill of a novelist, placing them in situations, often framed with humor, that allow us to see our own shortcomings. It has been a great pleasure to get to know Billy Edd and work with him. His comments - like his songs - are always unflinchingly honest. Even when it came to critiquing these interpretations of his songs!
Michael Lipton
West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, Director

Produced by Michael Lipton and Don Dixon
All tracks recorded at Lulu’s Playhouse, Charleston WV and engineered by Don Dixon except the following:
Jackson engineered by Sean Sullivan at the Butcher Shoppe Nashville
Nervous As An Outhouse Rat and The Reverend Mr. Black – recorded by Tristram Lozaw at Carnegie Hall, Lewisburg WV, and High Flyin’ Bird by Tim O’Brien Band, recorded by Francis Fisher at Mountain Stage, Charleston WV
Mastered by Tristram Lozaw
Design by John Baumgartner
Cover painting, Fun At Harvest (1952) by Billy Edd Wheeler
Song notes by Billy Edd Wheeler

1. Red Winged Blackbird – The Sycomores
2.   Jackson – Kathy Mattea and Tim O’Brien
3.   The Big Put On – The Carpenter Ants
4.   Ann – Ron Sowell
5.   Chain Gang of Love – Sarah Rudy and Annie Neeley
6.   Coming of the Roads – Larry Thompson and Bob
7.   Blistered -Mark Cline Bates
8.   Winter Sky – Julie Adams and Susanna Robinson
9.   A Baby Again – Todd Burge
10. High Flyin' Bird -Susanna Robinson
11. Hillbilly Bossa Nova – John Lilly
12. Coal Tattoo – Richard Hefner
13. They Can't Put It Back – Mark Cline Bates
Bonus Tracks:
14. High Flyin' Bird – Tim O’Brien Band (Recorded live
on Mountain Stage)
15. Nervous as an Outhouse Rat – Billy Edd Wheeler
recollects (Recorded live at Carnegie Hall,
Lewisburg WV)
16. The Reverend Mr. Black – Billy Edd Wheeler with
ensemble (Recorded live at Carnegie Hall, Lewisburg

The West Virginia Music Hall Of Fame inducts a new class of inductees on Saturday, November 14th. Inductees include Ethel Caffie-Austin, the Davis Twins, Larry Groce, the Hammons Family , and Mayf Nutter. Hosted by Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon, and Emily Miller from the Augusta Heritage Center, the ceremony features vignettes on the inductees as well as songs performed by various WV artists including Ethel Caffie’Austin. Caffie-Austin, Mayf Nutter, Pat Boon, Larry Groce, Tim O’Brien Band, Trevor Hammons with Jesse Milnes, and Billy Edd Wheeler, accompanied by a house band led by the legendary Charlie McCoy.

The show airs on November 14th, 2020 from 7-9pm ET on West Virginia Public TV. The show wil be streamed nationally on, Facebook ( and NPR Passport.

Find out more about inductees and the West Virginia Music Hall Of Fame at


“Billy Edd is a writer’s writer. A raconteur, with a sharp wit for introspection, with an unmistakable West Virginia accent to everything he does.“ Kathy Mattea

“Billy Edd’s career is inspiring just for its diversity. He writes books and plays, hangs with Lieber and Stoller and Chet Atkins, can paint a mule on canvas, or sell a song about a mule to a rock band.” Tim O’Brien
  • Members:
    Michael Lipton WVMHOF (acting director)
  • Sounds Like:
    Billy Edd Wheeler, Kathy Matthea, Tim O'Brien, Johhny Cash,
  • Influences:
  • AirPlay Direct Member Since:
  • Profile Last Updated:
    08/15/23 04:20:59

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