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LINK WRAY


American Rock Guitar Instrumentalist

Official Link Wray Biography 2005

Born May 2nd, 1929 in Dunn, North Carolina, Link is three quarters Shawnee Indian. At the age of eight, he learned to play the guitar from Hambone, an African-American man who was travelling with Barnum and Bailey's circus. He noticed Link on the porch banging his Maybelle-guitar.

At the age of fifteen, Link paid twenty dollars a night to sit in with the country and western musician Tex Ritter (High Noon) in order to further his musical knowledge. He also played with Wild Bill Elliot.

1945-47 Link played western swing with Sheriff Tex Davis, who wrote Be Bop A Lula, for Gene Vincent. Link played with his brother Doug and first cousin Shorty Horton.

1953 While playing with Jimmy Dean, Link received advance guitar instruction from Chick Webb. Link also played at the Hank Williams memorial that year. (Link knew Hank's mother.)

1955 Link is invited home by Elvis Presley on a couple of occasions."

1956 In Fredricksburg, Virginia a fight broke out in the audience and while onstage, like a bolt of lightening, Link got the idea for the instrumental Rumble.

1958 On St. Patrick's day Link recorded Rumble on a one track Grundig with brother Doug on drums and Shorty on stand up bass.

Link Wray is known for being the first musician to experiment with the sounds that pioneered rock and roll and punk styles. Link virtually invented fuzz tone by deliberately punching holes in his amplifier speakers. He was also a true pioneer of the use of distortion on instrumental rock recordings.

In the spring of '58, Rumble was released and quickly rocketed to the top 20. Voted the #1 Rock Instrumental of all time by the Book Of Rock Lists (Dell/Rolling Stone Press)

1959 Top 40 hit Rawhide released ...

American Rock Guitar Instrumentalist

Official Link Wray Biography 2005

Born May 2nd, 1929 in Dunn, North Carolina, Link is three quarters Shawnee Indian. At the age of eight, he learned to play the guitar from Hambone, an African-American man who was travelling with Barnum and Bailey's circus. He noticed Link on the porch banging his Maybelle-guitar.

At the age of fifteen, Link paid twenty dollars a night to sit in with the country and western musician Tex Ritter (High Noon) in order to further his musical knowledge. He also played with Wild Bill Elliot.

1945-47 Link played western swing with Sheriff Tex Davis, who wrote Be Bop A Lula, for Gene Vincent. Link played with his brother Doug and first cousin Shorty Horton.

1953 While playing with Jimmy Dean, Link received advance guitar instruction from Chick Webb. Link also played at the Hank Williams memorial that year. (Link knew Hank's mother.)

1955 Link is invited home by Elvis Presley on a couple of occasions."

1956 In Fredricksburg, Virginia a fight broke out in the audience and while onstage, like a bolt of lightening, Link got the idea for the instrumental Rumble.

1958 On St. Patrick's day Link recorded Rumble on a one track Grundig with brother Doug on drums and Shorty on stand up bass.

Link Wray is known for being the first musician to experiment with the sounds that pioneered rock and roll and punk styles. Link virtually invented fuzz tone by deliberately punching holes in his amplifier speakers. He was also a true pioneer of the use of distortion on instrumental rock recordings.

In the spring of '58, Rumble was released and quickly rocketed to the top 20. Voted the #1 Rock Instrumental of all time by the Book Of Rock Lists (Dell/Rolling Stone Press)

1959 Top 40 hit Rawhide released

1961 World renowned instrumental group The Ventures released their version of Rawhide on the album Another Smash !!!

1963 The legendary film composer/writer/arranger Jack Nitzsche released a big band recording of Rumble complete with a full horn section.

1963 Jack The Ripper released

1964 British Invasion giants The Dave Clark Five released their version of Rumble on their top selling album The Dave Clark Five Return

1965 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Duane Eddy released his version of Rumble on the album Twangin' the Golden Hits

1966 Batman Theme released

1966-1969 Various other Link Wray hit singles released on Swan records including Ace Of Spades and Hidden Charms

1971-1973 Link Wray albums Link Wray, Link Wray Rumble, and Be What You Want To released to great critical acclaim with guests Jerry Garcia, Commander Cody and Peter Kaukonen

1973 Album Beans and Fatback released

1975 Link recalls Recording with Richard Branson (Virgin Records) in a monestary in England.

1976 Album Stuck In Gear released

1979- 1980 Albums Bullshot and Live at the Paradiso released

1980 Link marries a student of native American cultures from Denmark, Olive Julie Povlsen. In 81 she was appointed manager by Link, (till that day he had managed himself).

1983 May 10th, Link and Olive's son, Oliver Christian Wray is born.

1985 Link appears live in a historic MTV event "Guitar Greats" at the Capitol theater, New Jersey. Link is honored with many other famous guitarists such as David Gilmore of Pink Floyd, Steve Cropper, Brian Setzer and Dave Edmunds, just to name a few.

1986 Album Live In '85 released

1987 Album Born To be Wild released

1993 Album Indian Child released

1997 Album Shadowman released

97-2002 Link tours extensively in America and Canada

Link appears on Late Night with Conan O'Brian

2002 Guitar World magazine votes Link Wray one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

2003 British Music Magazine NME Originals John Lennon The Beatles and Beyond issue details a story of John Lennon's small traveling record collection which included a Link Wray LP.

2004 presidential candidate John Kerry's college band album featuring the senator as bassist is re-released to the public and features a version of Rawhide.

Link's impact has been felt throughout almost every genre of music for the last five decades. In order to consider Link's vast influence and thorough coverage of the spectrum of popular music, one only has only to consider how many of his releases have had a great crossover effect that ranges from Punk to Grunge ,Heavy Metal , Rock and Roll, Rockabilly, Country, Surf, Garage, Lounge and Instrumental music.

The Who guitarist Pete Townshend has been quoted as stating: "He is the King. If it hadn't been for Link Wray and 'Rumble', I would have never picked up a guitar."

From the early days, fellow musicians like David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Steve Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen have mentioned being inspired by him..

Rumble became a multi million selling hit in spite of its title which caused it to be banned from the radio at that time for being too suggestive.

Link's original sound is timeless as evidenced by the inclusion of many of his guitar instrumentals in some of the best motion pictures of the last decade. Some of these releases include:

Pulp Fiction (recently re-released on a special edition soundtrack),

Desperado,

Independence Day,

Confessions of A Dangerous Mind, as well as in Road Racers (Robert Rodriguez)

Breathless,

12 Monkey's and

Blow.

"Link Wray is the all time legend" Conan O'Brian 1999

Since the mid nineties, Link has toured all over the US, playing for audiences aged 18 and up. Although some of the youngest fans aren't completely familiar with many of his earliest hits, they remain strongly drawn to his devotion, love of music and true original sound.

Link has been living privately in Scandinavia since 1980 with his Danish born wife Olive July Wray (Still his manager), and their 22 year old son and co-producer Oliver Christian Wray.

Link WRAY

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