Friday, November 10, 2006

Band Concert, July 1963

In honor of Matterhorn1959's salute to the Disneyland Band (at his Stuff From The Park blog), I thought I'd add an image from my collection.

Vesey Walker was the leader of the Disneyland Band until his retirement in 1970, but this obviously isn't him. Maybe he was on vacation! This could be his son, Tommy Walker...if anyone knows, please chime in. I could only find one blurry photo of him (with his dad), but it's hard to say for sure whether that's him in my image.

Tommy was an interesting guy...he wrote the famous six-note "CHARGE!" theme (Da-da-da-DAT Da-DUM!) that is played at virtually every baseball and football game nowadays. Yup, somebody actually wrote that, it didn't always exist. Who knew! He was a star placekicker and bandleader at USC. Wikipedia does not say what year Tommy Walker started working for Walt Disney as the first director of entertainment and operations, but it does mention his career after leaving Disney:

"In 1966 Walker left Disneyland and began a production company to put on the same kind of spectaculars he had created for Disney. He directed the opening and closing ceremonies for three Olympics and had a hand in the festivities for five World's Fairs and two presidential inaugurations. He directed the halftimes at three Super Bowls. And he directed the fireworks that highlighted the Statue of Liberty's centennial celebration on the Fourth of July 1986."

He passed away during open-heart surgery in 1986, at the age of 64.


Matterhorn1959 said...

Great image, thanks for sharing in on the Disneyland Band image fest!! I think the band leader is Tommy as well, but it is hard to tell. There is not that much information about the band and band members out there.

Amazon Belle said...

Hi there Major! Before I let another day go by I want to also say “Thanks!” for the shout out earlier this week. I truly enjoy viewing your amazing photo collection and reading your blog every day. Don’t grow weary of well doing. I still smell a book a-comin’

From what I can tell that is Tommy on the left and his Dad, Vesey, in uniform on the right. Tommy Walker is considered some what of a legend around here at USC. The "Charge" call was written while he was a student. Someone from the Disneyland Alumni Club said that Tommy was asked to leave the company when it was discovered that he started purchasing some land in central Florida before anything was announced. OOPS! Don't know if that is true... just what I heard.

Tinker Bell said...

Great background info on Tommy. I had never heard much about him before.

LoyalTubist said...

If you want to hear some of what Tommy Walker did before he began working at Disneyland in about 1957, go to and click on the MP3 files for the 1953 Rose Bowl game between USC and Wisconsin. Most of the game is there and Tommy Walker is featured prominently. The game is in four parts.

Anonymous said...

Tommy walker ( uncle Tommy to me ) Started with Disney at the beganing, as well as my Grandfather Vesey. My grandfather was hired to put the band together for the opening and two weeks following. That was the longest two weeks in history :)

Major Pepperidge said...

Anon, thanks for your comment, if you have any other info about Vesey or Tommy that you would like to share, I would love to hear it!