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Wanda Wayne
Born:  April 23, 1935
Died:  February 15, 2002
KGEM Boise, ID


About The Artist

As we research artists on this web site, we sometimes find the 'stage names' are not the same as their 'real names'. Such is the case in this instance.

She performed and recorded under the name of "Wanda Wayne." She married singer / songwriter "Hillbilly" (Billy) Barton (real name John Ralph Grimes) on December 17, 1954. She was about 19 years old at the time; Billy was 25. The "findagrave" web site notes her birth date correctly, but the town as Jasper, AR. Research tends to confirm what other sites note as Jasper, AL. Born in 1935 as Betty Lou Parvin, the 1940 U. S. Census shows her family living in Bankhead, AL. We learned in her obituary that she was only five feet tall. ("...Though she may have only been 5 feet tall, as they say, "Dynamite comes in small packages." ")

In late 1953, she did her first recording for King records in Hollywood, CA.

A promotional disc put out by King provided some biographical details as to where she was born as well as when she married Billy.

Research shows her appearing with Billy Barton in central California and later in Boise, ID. In Boise, Billy hosted "The Music Valley Jamboree" that aired over KGEM from the Riverside Ballroom.

At some point, she divorced John Grimes (Billy Barton). She later married Ivan L. Harvey.

Her recording career seems to have come to an end after parting ways with Mr. Grimes.

She spent the last 31 years of her life in Loomis, CA, an unincorporated area north of Sacramento.

Promo Ad - Blackboard Cafe - Bakersfield, CA - Billy Barton - Wanda Wayne - December 1953
Promo Ad - The Big Barn - Salinas, CA - Billy Barton - Wanda Wayne - Reynold (Randall?) Parker - Valley Rhythm Ranch Hands - March 1954

Promo Ad - Ada County Jamboree - Boise, ID - Billy Barton - Wanda Wayne - Randall Parker - Smokey Stover - October 1954
Promo Ad - The Big Barn - Salinas, CA - Billy Barton - Wanda Wayne - Randall Parker - April 1954

Promo Ad - Ada County Jamboree - Boise, ID - Billy Barton - Wanda Wayne - Randall Parker - Smokey Stover - October 1954
Promo Ad - The Big Barn - Salinas, CA - Billy Barton - Wanda Wayne - Randall Parker - April 1954

Promo Ad - Barton's Barn - Olympia, WA - Billy Barton - Wanda Wayne - Barton Band - Randall Parker - August 1954
Promo Ad - Payquato Dance Hall - Centralia, WA - July 1954 - Wanda Wayne - Billy Barton - Tex Mitchell

Promo Ad - Riverside Ballroom - Boise, ID - Billy Barton - Wanda Wayne - Randall Parker - Smokey Stover - Western Rythmaires - October 1954
Promo Ad - The Town Club - Garden City, ID - Billy Barton - Randall Parker - Wanda Wayne - Smokey Stover - October 1954


Promo Ad - Riverside Ballroom - Music Valley Jamboree - Billy Barton - Wanda Wayne - Randall Parker - Dona Dean - December 25, 1954

Promo Ad - The Cash Box - King Records Ad - Wanda Wayne - Bonnie Lou - The Charms - Elaine Gay - King Records
Promo Ad - Northwest Barn Dance - Tacoma, WA - June 1954 - Bud Hobbs - Billy Barton - Wanda Wayne
Obituary - Betty Lou Harvey (Wanda Wayne) - Sacramento, CA - February 23, 2002

Wanda Wayne
Record Reviews From The Billboard and The Cash Box
Date Label Rec No. Review
12/12/1953 (BB) King 1290 Don't Forget To Write b/w Miss Wayne debuts on the label with this disk. Both the arrangement and Miss Wayne's vocal styling move uncertainly between a pop and frankly c.&w. treatment.(Overall Rating: 65)

Take Your Tears (To The One Who Took Your Kisses)
Miss Wayne might have succeeded is putting over this country material with better support. (Overall Rating: 60
2/20/1954 (BB) Abbott 155 I Cried My Eyes Out Over You Duet with Billy Barton. If the trend for boy-girl,half-talk weeper still has steam to It, this entry should attract some attention. A good performance by the twosome.(Overall Rating: 76)

What's The Matter With Me
Solo By Billy Barton. Billy Barton, who sings this one solo, puts the question appealingly. A weeper with a beat and a tune, this side can pull spins and sales. (Overall Rating: 76
2/26/1955 (BB) King 1440 The Song You Just PLayed Duet with Billy Barton. Barton Is joined by Wanda Wayne (Mrs. B.) In a mighty attractive duet. Despite its weeper theme, it moves briskly and tunefully. This could catch on and earn satisfactory loot. (Overall Rating: 76)

Why Don't They Leave Her Alone?
Solo By Billy Barton. Billy Barton, who sings this one solo, puts the question appealingly. A weeper with a beat and a tune, this side can pull spins and sales. (Overall Rating: 74

King Records - 1290 - Hollywood, CA - Wanda Wayne - Take Your Tears (To The One Who Took Your Kisses) - November 1953

King 1437 - I Gotta Go Get My Baby - Wanda Wayne - Released January 1955

King 1437 - The Light Across The River - Wanda Wayne - Released January 1955

Credits & Sources

  • Country Platters; Les Carroll; March 25, 1955; The Eureka Reporter; Eureka, CA
  • Obituary: Harvey, Betty L.; February 23, 2002; The Sacramento Bee; Sacramento, CA

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

 
Abbott
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  155 A I Cried My Eyes Out Over You
  155 B Other Side by Billy Barton
 
King
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1437 A I Gotta Go Get My Baby
  1437 B The Light Across The River
  1466 A Turn Your Fire Down
  1466 B Catch Your Lover


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