Archive for the Rock Influence Category

Library of Congress adds Rumble

Posted in General, Rock Influence with tags , , , , on July 27, 2009 by inductlinkwray

In June of 2009, The Library of Congress announced the newest additions to it’s National Recording Registry. Foremost among this year’s inclusions is “Rumble” by Link Wray recorded in 1958. It is foremost for us fans of Link anyway. Also included was “At Last” by Etta James, “My Generation” by the Who, “Tom Dooley” by The Kingston Trio, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones and “Boogie Chillen” by John Lee Hooker along with numerous other recordings including a speech by Sir Winston Churchill and the sounds of a woodpecker.

The Librarian of Congress along with help from public members as well as a panel of music and sound experts comprise the National Recording Preservation Board.

This is just an assumption on my part but I am sure they recognize Rumble as being one of the first true rock and roll songs as well as the first expression of the power chord.  “Rumble” truly does deserve it’s latest accolade as does the man who played it. Among the many organizations to recognize Link thus far this just may be the most prestigious, in this writers opinion.

Induct Link Wray!

Rumble shaped Rock

Posted in Rock Influence with tags , , , on December 14, 2008 by inductlinkwray

Those of us that are fans of Link Wray and listeners of quality music already knew that ‘Rumble’ was one of the original rock & roll songs. According to the way that I hear music it was the first rock song. The Rock and Roll hall of fame has ‘Rumble’ listed as one of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll. If they really feel this way then why is he not an inductee? He made music in the 50s that was years ahead of its time.

‘Rumble’ was released in 1958 but was recorded as a demo 4 years earlier and was decades ahead of anything else on the charts at the time. In 1954 when Rumble was originally recorded, ‘SH-Boom’ and’ Shake, Rattle and Roll’ were the closest songs to rock on the charts. ‘Rocket 88′ by Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner and the Delta Cats was released in 1951 and is offically credited by the rock hall as being the first rock song.

‘Rumble’ was harder and much more original than any other song of that period. Every other song of the early rock period can also be considered rhythm and blues, rockabilly, or even country. Link Wray produced a sound that was distinctly rock and roll. ‘Rumble’ would peak at #16 on the Billboard charts despite being banned from airtime in major markets such as New York City. Had ‘Rumble’ been played on the radio in every major city it may have reached the top 10 of the charts.

It is also fitting to mention the climate of civil rights at that time. Link Wray, being 3/4 Shawnee Native American and also having only one lung achieved a major milestone for minorities in the 50s. In Texas for example I read that ‘Rumble’ was banned from radio in a certain big city only after it was learned that Link was Native American. In most of the rest of the U.S. the reasoning was that they believed ‘Rumble’ promoted gang violence. I believe it was just that Link was so far ahead of anything else that was on the airwaves in 1958 that the corporate executives in music had to keep him down. The powers that be in rock continue to keep Link on the outskirts of commercial success and recognition even today. In order to join us in doing our part to help Link Wray get inducted into the Rock Hall sign the

To view the complete list of the 500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll

Mutual Admiration

Posted in Rock Influence with tags , , , on November 29, 2008 by inductlinkwray

I have included elsewhere on this site examples of The Who being fans of Link Wray especially Pete Townshend. But did you know that Link was also a Pete Townshend fan and fan of The Who? In an interview I have seen with Link he described Keith Moon as calling out “The Rumble Man!” repeatedly in their meeting during the “Who’s Next” sessions. Wray claimed he had a good time with Moon hugging him and spinning him in circles. It was said that it seemed Pete Townshend’s legs went to jelly that he didn’t seem to know what to say. I can only imagine, in my experience that is how it is when meeting someone who has iconic status in your mind.

Link says of Pete: ” Pete Townshend is a genius of Rock ‘n’ Roll, he took my sound and carried it to the heavens.” With the influence that ‘Rumble’ had on Pete, I would say that almost qualifies as a student graduating from his teacher’s class. In this case Link’s school of rock.

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