In 2006, Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. declared January 15th Link Wray Day in the state of Maryland. The official document was accepted by his grandson, Chris. This day also marked a tribute concert for Link at El Boqueron II in Rockville. The concert featured Robert Gordon who recorded two rockabilly albums with Link in the 70s. A tandem effort that was beneficial to both careers. Also headlining the event was Eddie Angel, the famed surf guitarist of Los Straitjackets celebrity. Eddie Angel recorded a cover cd titled Eddie Angel plays Link Wray in 2006. It features many hits as well as lesser known songs of Link. A tribute cd without Link Wray ‘Rumble’ imagine that. Appearing were also Dave Letterman band drummer Anton Fig, the A-Bones, and Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane founding member Jack Casady. Casady reunited with his high school band The Triumphs for the performance. The Triumphs frequently opened for Link Wray & The Raymen. Little mention was made in the press that The Raymen performed at this event. No one else can capture the sound of Link Wray’s Raymen- no one. All three of them played with Link and Guitarist John Van Horn’s father Jack was also a long time Rayman. Bassist Ed Cynar has been with The Raymen since the early 60s and knows their sound and how to define it perfectly. Drummer Pat Greenwood first played with Link Wray in the late 70s. Also appearing was the band Switchblade.
Perhaps the capstone of the event was that Link Wray’s American family gathered onstage to sing ‘ Will the Circle be Unbroken.’
Link’s connection to Maryland is multi-faceted in that the Wray family farm is located in Accokeek. Link made his home here through much of the 50s, 60s & 70s. The family farm was also home to the infamous chicken coop converted home 3 track recording studio where Link and band made numerous recordings. Link Wray also lived in Waldorf, Maryland with brother Doug for a period in the 70s and early 80s. Wray also made a home in White Plains, Maryland with his wife Sharon for a time.
Unfortunately, I would presume many area natives are unaware of the legendary guitarist that once called Maryland home. Hopefully Link Wray Day brought many to come to know great music and guitar work that had an influence on numerous rock genres. If you’re in Maryland on January 15th be sure to play some Link Wray tunes, turn up the volume to Link’s preferred decibel level and celebrate Link Wray Day.
To join us in inducting Link Wray into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sign the .
An article featured in the contained a review of the tribute and information on Link Wray Day.