Link Wray...he was the beginning of Grunge. Way before anybody you know.
He was a huge influence. When I saw him, it was one of the greatest shows I ever saw in my life.
Dan Auerbach, THE BLACK KEYS
I was at the Student Union...I heard this music...I left school emotionally at that moment. The moment I heard RUMBLE.
The first time I heard RUMBLE…that was something that had so much profound attitude. It really does.
Link Wray. Father of the POWER CHORD. Creator of Distortion. Punk, heavy metal, grunge, garage, real rock guitar…it all started here.
Link Wray was the first to use intentional distortion in a rock and roll recording.
Link Wray is credited with inventing the POWER CHORD, the “modus operandi” in rock and roll.
Link Wray and the Ray Men's groundbreaking song RUMBLE was banned from radio airplay for fear it would incite teenage gang violence. All the more remarkable when you realize the song HAS NO WORDS. (You can't get more "rock and roll" than that!).
Link Wray was the first Native American rock star with RUMBLE selling over a million copies in 1958.
Link Wray has been inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame, North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, Rockabilly Hall of Fame, Washington (DC) Area Music Association, Southern Legends Hall of Fame and many more.
Link Wray has been featured in the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the Native American Indian "Up Where We Belong" exhibits in both Washington DC and New York City.
Link Wray has been named as one of the 100 GREATEST GUITARISTS by Rolling Stone magazine.
Link Wray’s music has been featured in such television and film as PULP FICTION, INDEPENDENCE DAY, DESPERADO, THE SOPRANOS, BLOW and countless others.
Link Wray has influenced the likes of Jimmy Page, Neil Young, Iggy Pop, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, Dan Auerbach and countless thousands of other musicians the world over.
Link Wray's music crossed over to the hip hop community in 2011, when Death Grips released the song Spread Eagle Across the Block, which heavily sampled RUMBLE.
Link Wray is honored at his hometown of Dunn, NC with the annual "Link Wray Music Festival," an event held in May of each year on the weekend of his birth.
LINK WRAY DAY has been declared by Governor’s Proclamation in the states of Maryland and North Carolina.
Link Wray's seminal instrumental RUMBLE, having met the criteria of being "culturally, historically or aesthetically important and/or inform or reflect life in the United States" was selected to be in the National Recording Registry, housed in the Library of Congress, in 2008. Less than 40 rock and roll songs have been so honored.
In October 2013, Link Wray was honored with a long overdue, well-deserved nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, THIRTY YEARS after first becoming eligible, Link Wray has yet to be inducted. The foundation of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame remains incomplete.
Thank you for visiting this website. We hope that it gives Link Wray and his brothers Vernon and Doug, some long overdue recognition.
He's the king. If it hadn't been for Link Wray and RUMBLE, I'd have never picked up a guitar.
If I could travel back in time to see one band, it would be Link Wray and the Ray Men.
I learned alot about intensity and commitment and colors of sound from Link. He was one of a kind.
Anton Fig, DAVID LETTERMAN SHOW
He's the man who invented punk rock, heavy metal and every other form of sonic nastiness that we currently hold dear.
Danny Frost, NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS
The musical equivalent of football's forearm shiver. Short. Nasty. Potentially lethal.
Rock Critic Dave Marsh on RUMBLE
With RUMBLE, the guitar arrived as an instrument of pure menace.
Rock Historian Colin Escot
photo © Rick Gould