A few years ago, during a telephone conversation with John Stewart, Billy Edd Wheeler’s name came up. John was a long-time fan of Billy Edd’s and I was way beyond being a fan. He was my favorite songwriter.
Billy Edd wrote some of the songs that carried me through a lot of homesickness when I was a kid and had left the hills. The Coming of the Roads, Coal Tattoo, The Reverend Mr. Black and especially one song that he recorded and released in 1961. It was on the Monitor label and was called Ain’t Goin’ Home Soon.
During our conversation John asked me if I’d send Billy Edd some cd’s of our Neon Dreams releases. I said I would and promptly got them in the mail to Billy Edd. A short while later the phone rang and it was him calling to thank me for the cd’s. Of course, my IQ dropped about 75 points and I made a pretty good fool out of myself. The one thing I did manage to do was tell him that Ain’t Goin’ Home Soon had been a comfort to me when I needed it. He told me that it was one of his favorites, too. A few days later I received from him the sheet music, the lyrics and a handwritten note. They are now framed and on the wall in my office.
Billy Edd was and still is a country man. He’s been round the world many times but his style and his sensibilities are the same as when he graduated from Berea College in 1955. I grew up 23 miles over Big Hill from Berea.
Billy Edd is also a wonderful artist. I highly recommend having a look at his website
And here’s the song. Accompanying Billy Edd is Joanie Sommer.