STUDIO SESSION FOR WANDA BALLMAN
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY JUNE 17, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
For many years Wanda Ballman was best known to Sun Records aficionados as the composer of Carl Perkins' "I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry".  However, a deeper dig into the vaults revealed that Ms. Ballman had a fairly long lasting affiliation with Sun Records. Even a single was contemplated at some point.  Over the years she continued to pitch material to Sun and Sam and actually had two sessions of her own at 706 Union during 1957, during which five of her compositions were recorded. 
 
We have resurrected four of those titles - a fifth appears to be lost. Wanda gave it a shot during which time she revealed herself to be a honky tonk singer at heart.
 
"AIN'T GOT A WORRY ON MY MIND" - B.M.I. - 1:56
Composer: - Wanda Ballman
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - June 17, 1957
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8182-8 mono
HILLBILLY FILLIES & ROCKIN' CHICKS
Reissued: - August 2002 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-2-6 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS
''HEARTBREAK GIRL" - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Wanda Ballman
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Released: - November 1986
Recorded: - Probably June 17, 1957
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-10-19 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - August 2002 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-3-3 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS
"HONEY, TELL ME SOME MORE" - B.M.I. - 1:32
Composer: - Wanda Ballman
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably June 17, 1957
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-3-4 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS
"50 YEARS FROM NOW ON"
Composer: - Wanda Ballman
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably June 17, 1957 
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Wanda Ballman - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Stan Kesler - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

WANDA BALLMAN - Is a native of Jonesboro, Arkansas. By the time she contacted Sam Phillips she appears to have moved to Denver, Colorado where she had a country music show at the Bandbox Ballroom. She later moved to Mesa, Arizona. After the success of, she wrote "I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry", Wanda gave some thought to securing a Sun contract. She journeyed to Memphis and recorded a session with the Sun session crew: Jimmy Wilson, Roland Janes, Stan Kesler and J.M. Van Eaton. At least one of the titles from that session, "Ain't Got A Worry On My Mind", was a fine slice of early Sun rock and roll. Wanda seemed to be adapting very successfully to the changing times.

After failing to place another rock and roll song, Wanda returned to her first love, country music. From Mesa, Arizona she mailed demo tapes to music publishers in Nashville. Some were accepted and did well. Loretta Lynn cored a top ten chart entry with "If You're Not Gone Too Long" in 1967. Later, Charlie Pride recorded "Anywhere Just Inside Your Arms". Wanda and Charles Ballman moved to Nashville in the early 1970s st that Wanda could be nearer the hub of the country music business. She set about the painstaking process of keeping a high profile in the competitive world of Nashville music. Most of her later work has had a gospel slant. At the time of writing, it appeared as though "Heal Our Land" was about to be used for a television commercial or a video production.

Wanda Ballman's affiliation with Sun Records bore little fruit for her other than the satisfaction of placing a song with Carl Perkins. Her efforts may have been doomed by the unregenerate raunchiness of "Dixie Fried", which was coupled with "I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry" upon release. However, she persevered and recalls that Sam Phillips considered two songs for a single release in early 1957. Of course, it did not happen and Wanda Ballman remains little more than a footnote in the story of Sun Records. The plaintive country feel in her work is best echoed in "Honky Tonk Gal". It has the simple unaffected quality of all good demos. Wanda Ballman died on September 21, 2005.