Song Of The Day: Link Wray – “Rumble” (1958)

Let’s raise a toast to the late, great Link Wray, who was born on this day in 1929. Did he know he would help change the world when he unleashed this legendary monster recording in 1958? Talk about innovation. Nobody had ever played a guitar anything remotely like this before – the long, loud chords (really the first power chords) and the crazy distortion – and then there’s the odd drum rhythm that surely reflected Wray’s pure Native American heritage. Some radio stations banned the instrumental (!?) because they thought these strange sounds would somehow ignite teen violence. What the song DID ignite was the imagination of a generation of young guitarists who realized that you can get a galaxy of amazing sounds out of this instrument. And every guitar great from the Classic Rock era has, without exception, acknowledged this debt to Wray.

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