Spartanburg Music Trail

David Ball

 David Ball

David Ball
Audio Samples

Private Malone

Thinkin Problem

Thought of You

Audio Tour: David Ball

A country music hit-maker and a founding member of the influential acoustic trio Uncle Walt’s Band, David Ball’s powerhouse voice and instrumental virtuosity made him one of the most compelling musical talents to spring from Spartanburg.

Born in Rock Hill, Ball moved to the Fernwood section of Spartanburg in elementary school. While still in high school, he played bass with the Spartanburg Symphony, but he was most intrigued by the less formal music he made with friends Walter Hyatt and Champ Hood. The three of them formed Uncle Walt’s Band, an ahead-of-their-time combo that inspired Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin and many others.

Country radio listeners became aware of Ball through his 1994 hit "Thinkin’ Problem" (from the million-selling album of the same name) and he followed that with notable singles including "When the Thought of You Catches Up with Me," "Look What Followed Me Home" and the 2001 smash "Riding with Private Malone," a rare independent success on the corporate-controlled country charts. He contributed "Old Folks At Home (Swanee River)" to the 2005 Grammy award-winning album "Beautiful Dreamer – The Songs of Stephen Foster."

In 2009, Lyle Lovett recorded Ball’s "Don’t You Think I Feel It Too" - an Uncle Walt’s Band favorite - on his "Natural Forces" album. And in 2010, Ball nodded to his hometown with a well-received album called "Sparkle City."

—Peter Cooper, author, professor, award-winning journalist, and Grammy-nominated artist

Interesting Fact

Ball wrote his first song in seventh grade and played it in a school talent show.

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