Ron Wall of Nashville, Tennessee, has been playing the autoharp for about thirty years. He is credited with helping to develop the diatonic autoharp with Oscar Schmidt, and has designed and built his own diatonic autoharp. He helped to develop the open-chord style of playing used by many players today. He has been involved in many recording projects, such as “Smoky Mountain Hymns” and “Smoky Mountain Christmas” with Brentwood Music; “Coming Home” and the now famous “Autoharp Legacy” in which he performed and produced.
In 1994, Ron won the International Autoharp Championship in Winfield, Kansas. In 2003, he was elected to the Autoharp Hall of Fame.
He credits Doc Watson, Grandpa Jones, and Bryan Bowers as his all-time musical heroes. To quote Ron, “In the mid-70s, I attended a Norman Blake concert where Bryan was the warm-up act. His music was the greatest thing I ever heard. The next day, I went to a music store and bought an autoharp, not knowing a thing about it! It was several years before I met another person that played the autoharp, and by that time I had already developed my playing style. When I finally met Bryan, it was at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield. He asked me to play on the main stage with him – I moment I will never forget.”
We are pleased and excited to host Ron to his fifth California Autoharp Gathering. We have continued to receive an overwhelming number of requests to bring Ron back for another visit! Ron has been an enthusiastic supporter of the autoharp community and we all continue to owe him a debt of gratitude for his generosity.