Archive for link wray rumble

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!

Missing Link? – again

Posted in General with tags , , , , on January 18, 2009 by inductlinkwray

I would first like to begin by extending my congratulations to Wanda Jackson on her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She is quite often referred to as the “Queen of Rockabilly” and rightfully so. For those of you that doubt the petition process, Wanda’s was begun by Elvis Costello. I would also like to congratulate Jeff Beck , a guitar virtuoso that has in the past cited Link Wray as an influence on him. I do not care to say very much about the “Rapper’s Delight” portion of the rock hall’s exhibits except that I wonder why they are being inducted into a “ROCK” hall and whether or not the nominating committee needs the music that is/was rock and roll to be defined for them.

Another year in which Link Wray has not been inducted. According to the website Link has been eligible since 1985. He could have been inducted with the inaugural classes. He could’ve been recognized alongside the pioneers of the music like he should have. This website poses the question “will Link Wray be inducted?” My question and that of many of his fans is why hasn’t he already been inducted? In my opinion for his most signature song ‘Rumble’ alone Link Wray deserves induction. If I were to bring into the argument ‘Raw-Hide’, ‘Jack The Ripper’, ‘Ace of Spades’, ‘I’m Branded’, ‘Deuces Wild’, ‘Run Chicken Run’, etc… (I believe I have illustrated my point here.)

Link Wray could be inducted as an early influence. His guitar innovations laid the initial groundwork for all that guitar hero craze that swept through rock in the 60s – 70s, 80s. He was a pioneer in the use of distortion and feedback. He recorded the single most powerful and influential D chord in all of rock and roll.

Link Wray could be inducted as a performer. Those of us that were fortunate to see him live can attest to this. Stories abound of the early days of playing biker clubs in the D.C. area. Link would taunt the very same bikers that would be taunting him. He would win them over with his guitar. He truly played with raw power. He would stalk the stage commanding it, drawing off the energy of the crowd. “I just love to play for the kids ya’ know” Link has been quoted as saying. He thoroughly enjoyed the resurgence he received the last several years of his career.

Link Wray could also be inducted as a songwriter. He would stay up all hours of the night writing songs. A family member recently recounted for me memories she has of her father when she was little. Seeing him sitting with his guitar, paper and pencil in hand when she went to bed and him being in the exact same pose when she woke up until the song was finished. He was absolutely committed to his music being played to his satisfaction. He often walked away from many record deals because of this commitment. He is not often thought of as a songwriter and this may be due to the fact that many of his early hits the songwriting credits are given to his father and Milt Grant. I assure you that Link Wray was the author of these hits.

In summary, Link Wray deserves induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! He was a true innovator of rock music throughout his illustrious career. He laid the foundation for the entire music that had spawned from his power chords let alone the actual facility which has been built as a shrine to the music. Imagine what they would have to view on exhibit if they did not already have inducted the many guitarists which were influenced by Link Wray? Wouldn’t be much more than ‘Climbing Up A High Wall’ now would it?

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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

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