Heather Ballentine Music’s Favourite Pin Up Girl

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

From the first enthusiastic sentence from this talented and beautiful artist, she lets you know she is grateful for it all. For her amazing husband (she jokingly says she did it backwards – she is an American who married a Canadian and moved here to be a wife and settle down.) She had no idea this is her musical journey would truly begin.

Heather Ballentine is a country girl right down to her roots. Born in the small town of Alma, Arkansas, she grew up around spinach farming and and a Dad who was Mayor for over 18 years. ‘Dad was a military man and really disciplined. He taught me to go after my dreams and pursue everything with a passion. To follow my dreams.’

Turns out her Dad was also the guy who influenced her with music. ‘Growing up on real country and western music and mixing in a little rock ‘n’ roll I loved listening to Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, The Everly Brothers, Elvis, Roy Orbison, Wanda Jackson, and Buddy Holly.  I knew I wanted to play an instrument. My Dad used to always play in local bands so one night I picked up my Dad’s bass and held it – but it didn’t feel right but the other guy had a guitar. I picked it up and liked the feel of it right away. My Mom tried to get me to try piano but guitar just always felt right. I went on to learn mandolin as well. I actually wrote ‘Needle in a Haystack’ (co-written with Larry Bartley and Michael Peterson) on mandolin. I was blessed to learn my business sense from John Robert Ballentine – but I got my passion for music from him.

So when you are in a small town like Alma, and you know you love to perform what do you do? Ballentine went on entering and winning beauty pageants, did public speaking and then tried her hand at song and dance with musical theatre, television (Ballentine even had a bit part on General Hospital) earning enough money to go the University of Tulsa. She always loved Marilyn Monroe (her Mom is actually named after her) and Heather loved the vintage look from a young age. ‘I was always curvy so the feminine dresses and styles suited my body type. Now I just love dressing like the femme fatales of that era. It works for me – and it sends a message that body types come in all sizes.’

So falling in love with an East Coast Maritime boy she thought he would be exactly what she thought Canadians were – harmless and well-mannered. ‘Sean is old-fashioned and is a gentleman, stable and supportive. He is also the reason I am on this wonderful adventure.’  Turns out Sean found out that Heather’s musical hero, Pete Anderson was playing at the Cadillac Lounge in downtown Toronto. He convinced her to at least go to the show and enjoy seeing him perform. The then ‘harmless husband’, armed with a CD he had stuffed in Heather’s purse, elbowed her into introducing herself to the legendary performer/producer and the adventure began. They were like ‘two peas in a pod’ from that rainy night forward. ‘It is a dream come true for me – Pete Anderson was my musical hero and now it is a friendship as well as a musical collaboration.’ Pete Anderson says, ‘the future is here and she’s one of the best!’

Enter Michael Peters and Barry Haugen, icons in the biz, who co-manage the lovely Heather, add a brilliant CD produced by THE Pete Anderson and it leads you right to today and the release of the first single’ Needle In A Haystack’ produced Grammy Winner Pete Anderson. Heather and Pete have created her own signature sound that appeals to country, swing, and big band audiences alike. To see her live show is to fall in love with her retro charm. Her style is fresh, unique, and unforgettable. She hits the ground running (on high heels) and entertains like she is at the Grand Ole Opry, with costumes,colours and choreography all swirling at the same time.

The branding and marketing of Music’s Favourite Pin-Up Girl suits this artist to a tee. She even has beauty tips on her website and lots of blog entries to share for the ladies.  She is the whole package with  talent, beauty and charisma. Her songs are heartfelt, her delivery impeccable and the production is clean and pure.

‘I feel so blessed. I am so grateful for Canada – I thought when I moved here in 2011 it would be a temporary adventure but now I know it is forever. I am looking forward to performing at Canadian Festivals and events this coming summer, and love the team I am working with to make that happen.’

The cool thing? Men love her and women want to be like her. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Check out more of this curvy, classy, retro classic at heatherballentine.com