LINK WRAY

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's most glaring omission

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THE ROCK HALL SNUBS LINK AGAIN...OR HAVE THEY?

We just heard the news that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame passed over Link Wray again…or have they?

Let’s look at the “Early Influence” criteria on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website and see if Link Wray could be considered as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Early Influence inductee this year -

“These artists pre-date the birth of rock and roll, but have had a profound impact on music’s evolution and it’s iconic artists.”

Let’s break that criteria down, piece-by-piece -

“These artists pre-date the birth of rock and roll…”

Does Link Wray pre-date the birth of rock and roll?

Depends on what definition the Rock Hall uses for the “birth of rock and roll.” Some historians say rock and roll started with Jackie Brenston’s “Rocket 88” that was released in 1951. Others will say rock and roll started in 1954 when Bill Haley and the Comets released “Rock Around the Clock.”

This year’s Rock Hall inductee page has yet another version of the “birth of rock and roll” timeline when it quotes Ice Cube - “Rock and Roll is a spirit. It’s been going since the blues, jazz, bebop…” Using that quote, the “birth of rock and roll” moves back into the 1930’s and earlier.

So the actual “birth of rock and roll” has yet to be defined by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Link is still in the game.

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Now, let’s look at the last half of that “Early Influence” criteria -

“…but have had a profound impact on music’s evolution and it’s iconic artists.”

Did Link Wray have a profound impact on music’s evolution and it’s iconic artists?

Ask Bob Dylan, Steven Van Zandt, Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop, Jimmy Page, John Fogerty, Neil Young, Elvis Costello other Rock Hall inductees as well as members of the Rock Hall Nominating Committee, whose quotes can be found on this page. Terry Stewart, the past President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has said, “Rock and Roll would not be what it is without the contribution of Link Wray.”

The answer is a resounding “yes.”

Link is still in the game.

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Finally, let’s take a look at the “musical timeline” of a couple recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Early Influence inductees -

FREDDIE KING - Started playing music in 1952, first records released in 1956.
WANDA JACKSON - Started playing music and first records released in 1954.

and compare them to

LINK WRAY - Picked up the guitar at 8 years old in 1937. First band formed in 1954, first records released in 1956.

Link Wray’s “musical timeline” is very similar with at least two Early Influence inductees.

Link is STILL in the game.

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We realize the odds might be very slim, but - we are hopeful that Link Wray will be considered as an Early Influence Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee this year.

Early Influence inductees aren’t announced until all the Performer votes are in - probably around December. We’ll see.

Congratulations and good luck to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees this year.