Parents’ Choice Magazine once said: “Children couldn’t ask for a better storyteller than Bill Wellington.” Bill is not only a great storyteller, he is also an accomplished musician, an award-winning recording artist, and one of the funniest family entertainers around. He has performed everywhere from one-room schoolhouses to the National Theatre, sharing his love of folk music, folktales, and folk dance.
Wellington is the former Old Time Banjo Champion of West Virginia. He also excels on fiddle, guitar and Irish Flute. He has played for square dance all across the Easter United States, and continues to be in demand as a dance musician and dance caller.
One of Bill’s talents is to write songs that really hit a nerve with kids. The titles of such songs include: “Grounded,” “Stay Out of My Room,” and “How Could We Live Without TV?” They reveal how Wellington writes from a kid’s point of view without any sense of trying to tell children how to be. “He relates to children in a childlike way,” according to Booklist.
Bill’s most popular song may be Gnarly Roadrash, which tell the story of a boy who overcomes adversity to become a skateboarding legend. This song compares learning how skateboard to any worthwhile challenge, showing youngsters that the desire to succeed is the most important thing. While the words are written by Bill, the melody is an old American fiddle tune called Red Wing. Woody Gutherie used the same melody for his song “Union Maid.”
Bill Wellington began making recordings for children in 1990. The release of “Radio WOOF” in that year was a huge success, as this recording won both the American Library Association “Notable” Award and the Parents’ Choice Gold Award. There are now seven Radio WOOF recordings, each using a format that allows Wellington to play such characters as Dr. I. M. Anonymous, the founder of folklore; Rover Reporter, a real news hound; and Laurence, the world’s most whimsical walrus.
WOOF has won rave reviews in the national media including USA Today, who called Radio WOOF a “cure for the back-to-school blues,” and Parents Choice Magazine who called WOOF a “funnybone feast.”