Access to this collection is limited.

To inquire about using this collection, contact us at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu. For details, please see the restrictions.

Collection Number: 20577

Collection Title: Billy Edd Wheeler Collection, 1960-2020

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This collection has use restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.


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Size 15 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 8000 items)
Abstract Personal collection of Billy Edward "Edd" Wheeler, a white author, performer, songwriter, playwright, and visual artist. The collection materials consist of personal papers, photographs, audio and video recordings, posters, and printed materials. Papers include correspondence; business records related to copyrights and royalties; manuscripts of publications for books by Wheeler, including an autobiography and writings on Appalachian humor; press clippings; press releases. Photographs consist of promotional photographic prints and slides related to his career in the music industry. Audio recordings are made up mostly of masters and outtakes related to commercial releases by Wheeler, including Asheville, Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle, and various singles and tracks. Video recordings include footage of performances and television appearances by Wheeler, including Hee-Haw and Nashville Now, as well as interviews, promotional materials, and community events featuring Wheeler, such as the The Writers' Workshop of Asheville, N.C. and Wheeler's induction into West Virginia Hall of Fame. The collection also contains various printed materials related to Wheeler and a scrapbook about his songwriting career.
Creator Wheeler, Billy Edd.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection is not available for immediate or same day access. Please contact Research and Instructional Service staff at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu to discuss options for consulting this collection.
Restrictions to Use
Publishing requests require permission from the donor.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Billy Edd Wheeler Collection #20577, Southern Folklife Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Billy Edd Wheeler in December 2019 (Acc. 103757).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Born 9 December 1932 in Boone County, W.Va., Billy Edd Wheeler has written several plays and musicals, three major outdoor dramas, two books of poetry, and four best-selling books of Appalachian humor – three with Loyal Jones. He has recorded 14 LPs and managed by United Artists Music Group. His songs sold over 45 million copies as recorded by eighty-some artists. He has received 12 ASCAP songwriting awards. Notable songs written or co-written by Wheeler include "Jackson" (Grammy Award winner for Johnny Cash and June Carter), "Coward of the County" (Kenny Rogers), "The Reverend Mr. Black", "Coal Tattoo", and "Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back." Wheeler, a white man, was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001, the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame in 2007, and the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2011. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from his two alma maters: Berea College in 2004, and Warren Wilson College in 2011.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Personal collection of Billy Edward "Edd" Wheeler, a white author, performer, songwriter, playwright, and visual artist. The collection materials consist of personal papers, photographs, audio and video recordings, posters, and printed materials. Papers include correspondence; business records related to copyrights and royalties; manuscripts of publications for books by Wheeler, including an autobiography and writings on Appalachian humor; press clippings; press releases. Photographs consist primarily of promotional photographic prints related to his career in the music industry. Audio recordings are made up mostly of 1/4" open reel audio masters and outtakes related to commercial releases by Wheeler, including Asheville, Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle, and various singles and tracks. Video recordings include VHS footage of performances and television appearances by Wheeler, including Hee-Haw and Nashville Now, as well as interviews, promotional materials, and community events featuring Wheeler, such as the The Writers' Workshop of Asheville, N.C. and Wheeler's induction into West Virginia Hall of Fame. The collection also contains various printed materials related to Wheeler and a scrapbook about his songwriting career.

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Processing Information

Encoded by: Anne Wells, September 2021

Since August 2017, we have added ethnic and racial identities for individuals and families represented in collections. To determine identity, we rely on self-identification; other information supplied to the repository by collection creators or sources; public records, press accounts, and secondary sources; and contextual information in the collection materials. Omissions of ethnic and racial identities in finding aids created or updated after August 2017 are an indication of insufficient information to make an educated guess or an individual's preference for identity information to be excluded from description. When we have misidentified, please let us know at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

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