David Ball (country singer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

David Ball
David Ball – 2004
David Ball – 2004
Background information
Born (1953-07-09) July 9, 1953 (age 69)
OriginSpartanburg, South Carolina, United States
Instrument(s)Vocals, rhythm guitar
Years active1988–present
LabelsRCA Nashville
Warner Bros. Nashville

David Ball (born July 9, 1953)[1] is an American country music singer-songwriter and musician. Active since 1988, he has recorded a total of seven studio albums on several labels, including his platinum certified debut Thinkin' Problem. Fourteen of Ball's singles have entered the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. His highest-peaking chart entries are 1994's "Thinkin' Problem" and 2001's "Riding With Private Malone", both of which peaked at No. 2.


David Ball was born into a large musical family headed by his father, William "Billy" Ball, a Baptist minister, and his mother, Bessie Ball, a pianist. Later, he moved with his family to Spartanburg, South Carolina where his father was pastor of Fernwood Baptist church. He eventually learned to play guitar after persuading his parents to buy him one. Having written his first song in seventh grade, he played it in a school talent show with a band he had formed, the Strangers. Afterwards, he played upright bass in various local youth groups and also the school orchestra. Together with friends, he took part in various bluegrass and country festivals in the Carolinas.

By the time Ball had left high school, he had a gig playing bass in Uncle Walt's Band, a trio headed by Walter Hyatt, who relocated to Austin, Texas, in the mid-1970s, in an attempt to make a mainstream breakthrough.

Ball subsequently focused on a solo career, moving to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was signed to a publishing contract. Three singles for RCA Nashville in the late 1980s failed to provide a solo breakthrough, however, and a projected album was shelved and was not released until 1994. The experience did at least serve to introduce him to producer Blake Chancey, son of country producer Ron Chancey. In the spring of 1993, Chancey called Warner Bros. Records director Doug Grau on Ball's behalf.

A new recording contract followed. Thinkin' Problem, his debut album, was released on Warner Bros. Its title track served as the lead-off single, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard country music charts and No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album, which received a platinum certification in the U.S., also produced the singles "When the Thought of You Catches Up with Me", "Look What Followed Me Home", "What Do You Want with His Love", and "Honky Tonk Healin'", although the latter two singles failed to make Top 40 on the country charts.

Ball recorded two more albums for the label – Starlite Lounge and Play – without much chart success. However, "Riding with Private Malone", from the 2001 album Amigo on the Dualtone label, reached a peak of No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts (now Hot Country Songs) chart, and No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100. This album failed to produce any other hits, however, and Ball exited Dualtone in 2002. Freewheeler followed in 2004, Heartaches by the Number in 2007 and Sparkle City in 2010.

In the 1995 album "Come Together: America Salutes The Beatles" David Ball's version of "I'll Follow The Sun" starts off the collection of Beatles songs by other artists.

Ball's "Thinkin' Problem" was parodied by Cledus T. Judd. Ball then appears in Judd's Shania Twain parody "If Shania Was Mine", standing behind the cameras and saying, "At least he's not picking on me this time."


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
US Country
CAN Country
David Ball[6]
Thinkin' Problem 6 53 3 55
  • US: Platinum
  • CAN: Platinum
Starlite Lounge
  • Release date: June 25, 1996
  • Label: Warner Bros. Nashville
  • Release date: July 31, 1999
  • Label: Warner Bros. Nashville
60 21
Amigo 11 120
  • Release date: November 16, 2004
  • Label: Wildcatter
Heartaches by the Number
Sparkle City
  • Release date: April 20, 2010
  • Label: Red Dirt/E1
The Greatest Christmas
(as David Ball & The Pioneer Playboys)
  • Release date: 2011
  • Label: self-released
Come See Me
  • Release date: September 7, 2018
  • Label: Public Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Album details
Super Hits
  • Release date: July 18, 2000
  • Label: Warner Bros. Nashville
Thinkin' Problem (25th Anniversary)
  • Release date: September 18, 2019
  • Label: Omnivore


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Country
CAN Country
1988 "Steppin' Out"[10] 46
"You Go, You're Gone" 55 68
1989 "Gift of Love" 64 80 Steppin' Out (unreleased until 1994 and retitled as "David Ball")
1994 "Thinkin' Problem" 2 40 1 Thinkin' Problem
"When the Thought of You Catches Up with Me" 7 107 6
1995 "Look What Followed Me Home" 11 14
"What Do You Want with His Love" 48 56
"Honky Tonk Healin'" 50 50
1996 "Circle of Friends" 49 42 Starlite Lounge
"Hangin' In and Hangin' On" 67
"I'll Never Make It Through This Fall"
1999 "Watching My Baby Not Coming Back" 47 76 Play
"I Want to with You" 67
2001 "Riding with Private Malone" 2 36 Amigo
2002 "She Always Talked About Mexico"
"Whenever You Come Back to Me"[11]
2004 "Louisiana Melody" 60 Freewheeler
2005 "Happy with the One I've Got"
"Too Much Blood in My Alcohol Level"
2010 "Hot Water Pipe" Sparkle City
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1989 "Gift of Love"
1994 "Thinkin' Problem" O Pictures
"When the Thought of You Catches Up with Me" Chris Rogers
1995 "Look What Followed Me Home" Martin Kahan
"What Do You Want with His Love" Michael Salomon
"Honky Tonk Healin'" David Ball
1996 "Circle of Friends" Steven T. Miller
"Hangin' In and Hangin' On" Suzanne Gordon
1999 "Watching My Baby Not Coming Back"
2001 "Riding with Private Malone" Steve Schepman
2005 "Too Much Blood in My Alcohol Level" David Kiern
2010 "Hot Water Pipe"

Awards & Nominations[edit]


Country Music Association

Academy of Country Music

Grammy Awards


  1. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "David Ball biography". Allmusic. Retrieved January 7, 2008.
  2. ^ "David Ball Album & Song Chart History – Country Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
  3. ^ "David Ball Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
  4. ^ Peak chart positions for albums charting on the Canadian Country Albums/CDs Chart:
  5. ^ Peak chart positions for albums charting on the Canadian Top Albums/CDs Chart:
  6. ^ The album was recorded in 1989 and was originally titled "Steppin' Out", but it was shelved and wasn't released until 1994 and was retitled as "David Ball"
  7. ^ "David Ball Album & Song Chart History – Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
  8. ^ "David Ball Album & Song Chart History – Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
  9. ^ "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada – Country Singles". RPM. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
  10. ^ Although this song is featured on the 1994 RCA album, the album version was re-recorded by Ball and was retitled "We're Steppin' Out Tonight"
  11. ^ "Going for Adds" (PDF). Radio & Records. September 27, 2002.
  12. ^ "Winners database". ACM Country. Retrieved December 18, 2022.

External links[edit]