“LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE”
Whenever I hear Michael Buffer announce wrestling with his
catch phrase Let’s Get Ready To Rumble, it reminds me of the
movie West Side Story and the gang rumble sequence, it also
invokes memories of Link Wray and his Dirty Guitar Sound.
Link Wray a Rockabilly Hall of Fame Inductee and a Native
American Music Hall of Fame Inductee pioneered the distorted
overdriven guitar sound that was the for-runner of Heavy Rock,
Punk and Grunge music. His style influenced many rock guitarists
such as Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix. There are many
more who cite Link Wray as an influence in their guitar playing.
Link Wray who’s full name is Fred Lincoln Wray Jr was named as
one of the hundred greatest guitarists of all time by Rolling
Stones magazine, but still has not yet been inducted into the
Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame ( A petition is presently underway)
His Rumble hit the Billboard top 40 song list May 12th 1958 it
came in at #16 and stayed in the charts for 10 weeks, this is the
instrumental that started the dirty guitar sound and was banned by
many radio stations here and in the UK for inciting gang violence.
Wray was the original man in black, part Shawnee Indian he always
dressed in black when performing and his Indian heritage influenecd
songs like Comanche, Apache and Shawnee in his performances.
Raw-Hide was the only other song to hit Billboards top 40.
Wray’s music has been featured in many films such as Desperado,
Pulp Fiction,Twelve Monkeys, Johnny Suede and “It Might Get Loud”
(2008) this film featured the instrumental Rumble.
Link Wray day is January the 15th in Maryland.
March 26th 2006 he was honored by the “The first American
in the Arts with the Life Time Achievement Award.
Link Wray Born 5/2/1929 Died 11/5/2005