Bill Walden


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Birth Date
Deceased Date
Job Title
Musician, Harmonicist

Bill Walden began playing harmonica at the age of 11. He joined a few harmonica groups in the from the 1930s through the 1950s, which were very popular, especially in night clubs. One such group was called the Harmonica Rascals. He toured with the group throughout the United States for many years and later settled in Los Angeles where he ran a janitorial company. Bill rejoined the band in 1954 when the Harmonica Rascals had an incredible nine month engagement at the Moulin Rouge Club in Hollywood.During the 1960s and 1970s, Bill continued his janitorial business, occasionally playing in small bands around Southern California. On March 5, 2000 Bill attended the grand opening of the NAMM Foundation's Museum of Making Music, where he was interviewed. This interview was lost over the years and as a result, it was often documented that Ted McCarty’s March 26, 2000 interview was the first for the NAMM Oral History Collection. However, the discovery of Mr. Walden’s interview by Multimedia Specialist, Mike Mullens, in May 2019 confirmed that the first NAMM Oral History interview was indeed with Mr. Walden!