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Hotter Than a Pepper Sprout
Hotter Than a Pepper Sprout

Hotter Than a Pepper Sprout

A Hillbilly Poet's Journey From Appalachia to Yale to Writing Hits for Elvis, Johnny Cash & More

By Billy Edd Wheeler, Foreword by Janis Ian, Introduction by Doug Orr


250 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, EPUB, PDF, Mobipocket

Cloth, $24.99 (US $24.99) (CA $33.99)

Publication Date: April 2018

ISBN 9781947026025

Rights: WOR

BMG Books (Apr 2018)


eBook Editions Available

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Price: $24.99


A candid memoir of Wheeler's early years of struggle, his quest to find his own artist voice, and his uniquely poetic observations on life

Award winning songwriter, musician, author, playwright, poet, visual artist, and Appalachian Renaissance man Billy Edd Wheeler is best known for penning "Jackson," which was popularized by Johnny Cash and June Carter with their Grammy-winning recording from 1967. In addition to his own albums and singles as a highly regarded singer/songwriter (including the Top 5 hit, "Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back"), Billy Edd has penned numerous songs for artists such as Elvis Presley, Judy Collins, The Kingston Trio, Neil Young, and Kenny Rogers. Wheeler's memoir is populated by a fascinating cast of characters which he encountered on his journey. Songwriting changed his life, bringing him a long lasting career that saw the birth of classic tunes such as "The Reverend Mr. Black," "High Flyin' Bird," "The Coming of the Roads," "It's Midnight," "Coal Tattoo," and others. Peppered with the folksy wisdom of his beloved Appalachia, Hotter Than a Pepper Sprout is like pulling a chair up next to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer by a warm fire; you won't want to leave.


"Billy Edd Wheeler is a creative spirit the sort of which this world has rarely seen. He lives it and breathes it. Surrounds himself with it." —Janis Ian

Author Biography

Billy Edd Wheeler is an award-winning songwriter, musician, author, playwright, and poet. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, and the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Grammy Award-winning songwriter, singer, and author, Janis Ian has created songs used by artists as diverse as Bette Midler, John Mellencamp, and Celine Dion. Doug Orr is President Emeritus of Warren Wilson College. He co-authored the New York Times bestseller Wayfaring Strangers and founded The Swannanoa Gathering, a annual series of folk music workshops conducted at Barea College.