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Link Wray

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Dunn NC, United States (1929 – 2005)

Frederick Lincoln “Link” Wray Jr (May 2, 1929 – November 5, 2005) was an American guitarist, songwriter and occasional singer.

Wray was noted for pioneering a new sound for electric guitars, as exemplified in his hit 1958 instrumental “Rumble”, by Link Wray and his Ray Men, which pioneered an overdriven, distorted electric guitar sound, and also for having “invented the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarist,” “and in doing so fathering,” or making possible, “punk and heavy rock”. Rolling Stone included Link at number 67 on their list of the 100 greatest guitarist of all time.

Wray was born in Dunn, North Carolina to Lillie M. Coats and Frederick Lincoln Wray. It was there that Link first heard slide guitar at age eight from a traveling carnival worker, an African-American man named “Hambone.” Wray was a veteran of the Korean war, where he contracted tuberculosis that ultimately cost him a lung. His doctors told him that he would never sing again. So Link concentrated on his heavy guitar work. Despite this, on his rare vocal numbers he displays a strong voice and a range equivalent to Clarence “Frogman” Henry.

Part Shawnee Indian, Wray frequently spoke of his ancestry in performances and interviews. Three of the songs he performed bear the names of American Indian tribes: “Shawnee”, “Apache”, and “Comanche.” “Apache” was an instrumental composed by Jerry Lordan, which became a hit in the UK for The Shadows in 1960. Wray recorded one of the better covers of the song 30 years later, somehow finding new life in this mythic, minor-key, guitar/drum dialogue which by then was also associated with everyone from The Ventures to The Incredible Bongo Band.

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  • BobKite

    enorme, gigante, inmenso

    20 Jul 5:56pm Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    то, что Бетховен сделал в пяти нотах, линку рэю удалось в трех.

    21 Feb 3:15pm Reply
  • Nekosama-san

    - Link Wray неплохо играет... - Он известен? - Нет. Тем и хорош! Roadracers by Robert Anthony Rodriguez

    15 Dec 2013 Reply
  • mantaqueen

    <3

    16 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Nakkinak

    true guitar hero

    19 Apr 2013 Reply
  • antidarwin

    LInk Wray is the reason I bought a guitar.

    10 Apr 2013 Reply
  • tresfoufou

    Link Wray is important. Listen to Link Wray.

    1 Apr 2013 Reply
  • rogerg551

    Quiero escuchar música todos los géneros en Español,resido en Venezuela

    31 Mar 2013 Reply
  • rogerg551

    Quiero escuchar música todos los géneros en Español,resido en Venezuela

    31 Mar 2013 Reply
  • DuGallagher

    Profect!

    26 Feb 2013 Reply
  • VerbalImaginary

    HIT HIT HIT

    3 Jan 2013 Reply
  • hexoptus

    CAUSE ALL I REALLY NEED IS SOME COOL SHIT TO MOB LIKE DRIVIN' DOWN THE STREET TO THE BEAT OF A BLOWJOB

    29 Oct 2012 Reply
  • electricchurch

    ahead of his time

    6 Oct 2012 Reply
  • mrmocha

    Spread Eagle Cross The Block

    7 Sep 2012 Reply
  • djbardenett

    Awesome. I love his tunes.

    6 Aug 2012 Reply
  • asbestos_pie

    @Pawa17: It's not that black and white. Most of Link Wray's material was definitely garagey sounding, but some of his early songs (like "Hillbilly Wolf" and "The Swag") had definite rockabilly influences. This isn't surprising, considering Elvis Presley was one of his main influences. And even if his music doesn't qualify as surf rock (which itself is debatable), he was clearly a forerunner of that sound. Overall, though, his music can be a bit difficult to classify as it doesn't fall squarely into one genre.

    21 Jul 2012 Reply
  • Panecea

    ♥♥♥Link Wray♥♥♥

    7 Jul 2012 Reply
  • Pawa17

    It's not surf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's not surf rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's not rockabilly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its garage and prtotopunk!!!!!

    27 Jun 2012 Reply
  • podgethebastard

    he was so cool....way before cool existed.....fucking legend and pioneer

    22 Jun 2012 Reply
  • MusicMagic77

    Link Wray was born Fred Lincoln Wray Jr. on May 2, 1929 in Dunn, North Carolina. USA. Link is of Shawnee heritage, he and his brothers grew up sleeping on floors. Both of his parents were preachers making his early reputation as supporting gang violence and motorcycle gangs ironic. As a child Link had a bout with the measles which damaged his eyesight, this coupled with tuberculosis which cost him a lung gave Link tremendous hurdles to jump into Rock & Roll stardom. It is reported that as a child he heard a local slide guitarist named Hambone, who had an influence on him. >> INDUCT LINK WRAY: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Missing Link

    17 Jun 2012 Reply
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