‘The Waltons’: Jason Actor Jon Walmsley Spent ‘a Lot of Time’ Playing Guitar with Merle Haggard on Set

by Anna Dunn
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The Waltons actor Jon Walmsley, who played Jason on the show, spent a ton of time playing Guitar with Merle Haggard on set. Now, Walmsley is a musician himself and has traded in acting for music. In a recent interview, Walmsley discussed his time on set with the music legend and how that shaped his own music once he grew.

Merle Haggard’s role had him working closely with Jon Walmsley, and thankfully, the two developed a bond pretty quickly. This evolved into them playing a ton of music together when the cameras weren’t rolling.

“I was thrilled to have him come on the show as a guest star, and even more so that the main plot of the show was the relationship between our two characters,” he said in a 2017 interview with Billboard. “We spent a lot of time together during that six or seven days away from the camera. We did a lot of playing guitar on the set between takes. In fact, the assistant director had to tell us to shut up because they couldn’t concentrate on their work.”

On top of their shared musical talent, Walmsley shared that Merle Haggard was just a nice guy. Their friendship, and the quality time they spent together on the show, went beyond his talents.

‘The Waltons’ Cast Loved Working with Merle Haggard

“We all know how talented he was, but he was really a sweet, genuine, and down-to-earth man. He came onto the lot, on his bus, with his tour manager and those people. It was interesting because he seemed so humble and shy,” he described. “He wasn’t a real showbiz personality. He struck me as being a little bit like Elvis – where he had his guys who were around him all the time. I think he felt most comfortable at home on the stage.”

Sadly, the two only ever spent that week together while they were both working on The Waltons. Walmsley still wishes he got to know him beyond that.

“I would have loved to have gotten to know him away from Hollywood, and hung out. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be, but what a great memory,” he said.

Walmsley is now a Musician

As mentioned, Jon Walmsley is now a musician himself. Lots of his music is in the Blues Genre. His album, Goin’ To Clarksdale, came out in 2017. On The Waltons, he’s even credited as a composer for the show. So he’s been into music for a long time.

Walmsley also acted for a long while into the 2000s with credits on Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 8 Simple Rules, and 7th Heaven. But it looks like music is where his true passion lies.

Outsider.com