“No matter how much one loves, it must be with all the heart. Danny Wheeler loves with all his heart…it is music and playing the organ he loves. And it has been my pleasure to share Danny’s musical abilities. In my opinion, Danny Wheeler well become a “performer’s performer” in the years ahead…one who will receive the acclaim and following of all of his devoted friends, and he has many” From Dan Wheeler’s First Record album “Danny Boy” recorded at WWVA Jamboree Studios written by The late Bill Thalman program manager of WOMP Radio in Bellaire, Ohio . This was the First Record Album to bear the JAM label of WWVA Home of the Famous Jamboree USA. This started Dan’s recording career which brought him 22 recordings over 35 years.
Dan Wheeler was born in Wheeling, Wv and grew up in a small town called Greggsville. The son of Charles and Arlene Wheeler, Dan was the third of four boys. Dan without any formal training started as a church organist for two local churches, and performing at several local supper clubs every weekend. Dan started working at a local music store be he was to young to receive wages for working but obtained permission to work a limited amount of hours each week if the store owner would agree to be responsible for him while he worked.
In the gym during his lunch hour at Fulton School Dan went and played on the Old upright piano. Dan’s love for music was very evident at the age of 12 and a longtime friend of His Father Mr. Robert Drummond who was part owner of Wheeling’s oldest Music store named after a Wheeling Man named C.A. House asked if Dan would like to come in for a few hours each week and work in the large sheet music department of the store. So the journey begins. Dan was to young to be payed but the school board of Ohio County gave special permission to be at the store 8 yours each week. The credits for his time was placed in credit for what is called a rhythm unit, First electric drum type machine, called a rhythm ace. Dan never would have known that he would come face to face with a man and woman who worked for the founder of the company and how this man would touch Dan’s career.
As Dan continued to be taken by the music business he was asked to come to the county fairs throughout Ohio,WV, and PA to play the organ for the dealership. It was at this time that it became known what Dan’s real gift was as the people at the fairs crowded around the dealerships display for hours watching and listening to Dan’s gift of music. Dan often just dreamed of becoming a National concert artist someday, a dream to which he held on to. At the age of 13 Dan started recieving 75 cents an hour for working at the dealership. With the help and support of his parents Dan was able to continue his music. His dad and mom would drive him to concert ‘s and performances and his job for he was to young to drive. Learning all he could from tuning pianos to refinishing them. Dan then started playing at the local country club, and other locations in the Valley. He took his first position as organist for a local church at this early age also. In the late 60’s Dan took part in the local 4-H talent program and won first place. He traveled to Morgantown Wv for the State contest which he won First place. Due to his age he was in the junior catagory which only went to a state level. Dan’s love for music grew, and he started a band with brass, and strings at the age of 14. It was at this time that Dan became known for “Painting Musical Pictures” for his arrangments that the band used carried over into His concert days with the Wurlitzer Company. Dan joined the local musicians union to which he was one of the youngest ever members and his band started performing several times each week taking engagements sometimes a year in advance. Then came the Jr. High school days. Life changed again for Dan as he entered 7th grade. This is where he met Mrs. Morris the music teacher. Mrs Morris saw Dan’s talent and coninued to inspire and work with him. During these years, there was no Band program or string programs at the school, just a vocal and choir program. Each year the school would put on a variety show in the gym one for the school during the day, and two night performances for the public. Dan soon started working with her in the schools annual variety show. The variety shows was a highlight of Dan’s life, and Mrs Morris was the one teacher that encouraged Dan’s talent. The three years at this Jr. High shcool was the changing difference in Dan’s Life. It was here that also a teacher told Dan in front of the whole class ” You will never mount to anything in Music”. Wow, this hit Dan in the heart. These words were the very words that sparked Dan to strive and work more toward his love….music. Though Dan loved all types of music his heart still remained in the church and the gospel and religious music. By age 16 Dan’s career moved up to the next level of what was to be the ‘desire of his heart’.