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Billy Edd Wheeler Performs Live

Billy Edd Wheeler, '55, performed live for Berea alumni at this years Appalachian Heritage Celebration.

Billy Edd Wheeler

“She’s a t-bone talking woman, with a hot dog heart,” sang Billy Edd Wheeler before more than one hundred Berea alumni during this year’s Summer Reunion. Berea alumni gathered to listen and watch Wheeler perform numerous selections of his songs and poetry, including “The Coming of the Road,” “Coward of the County,” and an excerpt of “Mossie and the Stripper," a story about a man trying to adapt to his overly sassy wife. Berea’s own Samantha Cole ‘11 assisted him reading the role of Mossie.

Billy Edd Wheeler is a 1955 Berea graduate. He is the co-author of Laughter in Appalachia and has written numerous books, poetry, and plays. Wheeler has written hundreds of songs and has received a total of 13 awards from ASCAP for them. He was recently inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, along with the Nashville Association of Songwriters International Hall of Fame. He received a Distinguished Alumnus award from both Berea College and Warren Wilson College. To add to Wheeler’s list of recognition he has also received the “Best Appalachian Poetry” award from Morris Harvey College, the “Pacesetter Award for Music and Drama” from Billboard Magazine. In 2004, Berea College honored him with a honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Wheeler brought with him several paintings, books, and albums that were sold and displayed at the event. Wheeler agreed to donate half of all profits made from the night’s events to Berea College and the Appalachian Center.

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