Roanoke College

Musician and Comedian Rev. Billy C. Wirtz

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SALEM, Va.- Musician and comedian Rev. Billy C. Wirtz sings about "extraterrestrial occurrences with truck drivers and waffle house fires" Saturday, December 4 at 9 p.m. in the Roanoke College Colket Center. Tickets are $7.50 and to order tickets or for more information, please call the Colket Center Information Desk at (540) 378-5125.

Presiding over his First House of Polyester Worship and Horizontal Throbbing Teenage Desire, Wirtz's unique sound of blues, boogie-woogie and a dose of rockabilly combined with sidesplitting southern satire has defined the true meaning of entertainment that has garnered him a large following across the nation.

Beginning in 1982, in Virginia, Wirtz set off on a one-man crusade to combine authentic roots piano styles with more contemporary and skewed themes. Over the course of 20 years with such classics as "Mennonite Surf Party," "Roberta" and "Inbred," he's done just that. His electrifying piano and onstage antics have amused confused and amazed audiences from The Greek Theater in Berkeley to the Bottom Line in New York.

Although Wirtz is widely recognized as a humorist, music is his forte. A music lover at heart, Wirtz's heaviest influence is the blues. Observing much from his friend and mentor, the late blues legend Sunnyland Slim, Wirtz not only learned to appreciate the blues, but to perform it with fervor.

From politically correct to tongue-in-cheek musical parodies, Wirtz not only fascinates his audience with creative comedy material but with an energetic, mesmerizing stage show as well. Despite his monstrous six-foot-five-inch build coupled with a heavily tattooed body, Wirtz's on-stage charm not only captivates the crowds, but also has them begging for more of his left-of-center antics.

Wirtz's talents have been displayed on The Nashville Network, USA Network and NBC as well as receiving nationwide air play on morning radio shows. This multi-talented quintessential babyboomer has also written for such notable publications as Musician, Keyboard and the All Music Guide. Rev. Billy's latest release on HighTome Records is The Best of the Wirtz: 15 Years on the Road with a 77" Pianist. The 19-track compilation combines his finest studio sides with liver versions of his best-known songs and some contagiously funny new pieces.