LINK WRAY

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

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RUMBLE - DOCUMENTARY IN THE WORKS!

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Currently in the works! RUMBLE - THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD is a documentary film that will feature Link Wray, along with other musicians profiled in the Smithsonian exhibit UP WHERE WE BELONG - NATIVE AMERICANS IN POPULAR MUSIC that had a very successful run in Washington DC and New York over the past two years.

Scheduled to narrate this film are the likes of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Ringo Starr, Bootsy Collins, Slash, Brad Whitford and many others.

The tag line on the press release sums it up best - “We already know about the black and the white roots of rock, this is a look at Music history from a different perspective: THE RED ROOTS.”

More details as they are available. Read the official release here.

ANDREW'S HEART FUND

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Andrew Sayen is a little guy with a thing called Obstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. In a nutshell, it’s a thickening of a part of the heart. If left untreated, it will wear out quicker over time.

So, Andrew will be having a surgery to try to fix things, so that he can enjoy more time with his three siblings and his favorite things - Monster Trucks and the Washington Redskins!

Andrew is Link’s grandson. His mom Rhonda sang backup on a few tracks off Link’s BULLSHOT record.

There’s a fundraiser at the Winchester VA Moose Lodge on November 30, 2013. Lots of good things are planned - BAND OF TRIBES (featuring another Link grandson - Chris Webb) and Michael Hoover’s MEMORIES OF ELVIS show, along with raffles, door prizes and a silent auction.

If you can’t make it, please consider clicking here. Every little bit helps! The family thanks you for your consideration.

SO YOU WANNA BUY A LINK WRAY RECORD?

It seems that lately there are no less than half a dozen “new” Link Wray CD titles - SEVERAL DOZEN mp3-albums on Amazon. Double CD’s for under ten bucks? Downloadable albums for a few dollars? That’s hard to pass up, but let’s take a closer look…

It seems that over in the UK, any pieces of recorded music prior to 1962 went into the “public domain”. This means anyone and their brother can press a record or CD on ANY music older than 50 years and not pay a nickel to anyone who owns or recorded these music works…this includes a good number of Link Wray’s classic songs. (this has recently been extended to 70 years with the passing of “Cliff’s Law&rdquoWinking Let’s see how this has affected Link’s music…

MOONLIGHT WALK and YOUNG LOVE

Two recent offerings on Amazon on CD and mp3 are MOONLIGHT WALK and YOUNG LOVE. The Amazon ad said they were from “Mocking Bird” Records.  A quick check of Google…nothing on “Mocking Bird”…so I kinda had an idea what I’d be getting. It was even worse that I expected.  

I didn’t get CDs…I got
cheap CD-r discs printed by Amazon on Demand.  ZERO liner notes - check!  ZERO pictures of Link - check!  ZERO songwriting credits, publishing house information, song times - check! ZERO information on the Mocking Bird company, well you get that too…or rather you don’t get that too.

The covers?  They are copied from legitimate Link Wray recordings that have already been released. "Moonlight Walk" is copied from the Chiswick / Ace Records album "Link Wray Early Recordings" that was released decades ago.  "Young Love" is clearly copied from the far superior "Slinky! The Epic Sessions" CDs on Sundazed.  

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The music has all been released before…but this time with a twist. Instead of correct song titles, they have changed them. The alternate take of  ”Lillian” becomes “Lillian My Sun”.  ”Right Turn” alternate take becomes “Right Turn Left”.  (????)   An honest mistake or an attempt to get someone to download a “new” unreleased Link song?  Draw your own conclusion.

Link Wray deserves better than this slapped together money grab.

LINK WRAY AND THE WRAYMEN - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION

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Another title available recently is THE DEFINITIVE EDITION. This one came out around 2011. There’s a few things that make this one interesting - ROUGHSHOD (Scottie 45) and Link’s first waxing JOHNNY BOM BONNY. The other two choice cuts are from his brother Ray - DANGER ONE WAY LOVE and I’M COUNTING ON YOU. These tracks are all CD quality.

However…the track listing says this CD contains an alternate version of RUMBLE. It’s actually RAMBLE. Intentional or an honest mistake? I’ll leave that one up to you.

The cover comes with a sticker advertising “extensive liner notes and rare photos”. The photos and liner notes are extensive…ly copied from various websites and photo copyright holders with no credit given. No contact information is listed for the record company. Of course.

THE RUMBLING GUITAR SOUND OF LINK WRAY

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Nice packaging job on this double CD set, complete with a slide-over sleeve. This compilation offers a wide selection of Link tunes, but as wit the rest, they have all been done before.

Keeping in line with the releases of Link’s music as of late, this one credits TEENAGE CUTIE and GOT ANOTHER BABY to Link. C’mon folks - LUCKY Wray is oldest brother Vernon, not Link. These recordings were released as LUCKY WRAY with Link and Doug. Give credit where credit is due.

RUMBLES, RAW-HIDES, JACKS & ACES, 1956-1962
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Based on many of these “out of copyright” Link Wray releases, I wasn’t expecting much when I ordered the double CD RUMBLES, RAW-HIDES, JACKS & ACES. Boy, was I wrong.

Those other CDs pale in comparison with this one. What I received was a very well put together double CD with liner notes, detailed track listings with the histories of the song writers, publishers, original record companies, matrix numbers and original release dates. Two tiny errors though - HILLBILLY WOLF was first released on the DAVE DUDLEY FEATURING LINK WRAY AND THE RAYMEN LP, and FLIRTY BABY came out in the early 1990’s on the Norton Records MISSING LINKS set.

There is nothing new for a Link Wray fan as far as the liner notes and photos go - the stories have been told and the photos have been seen thousands of times. I do wish they would have given a photo credit to Kathy Wall, the polio stricken 14 year old rock fan who shaped the cover shot back in 1959. If you haven’t seen them, you owe it to yourself to see KATHY’S WALL, her INCREDIBLE scrapbook online. You will NOT be disappointed.

Same goes for the first CD. Nothing new - a collection of Link’s music that has been released and re-released more times than I can count.

The second CD is a different story. It was made for the hardcore Link Wray fan. Subtitled THE COLLECTOR’S LINK WRAY, we get Link playing on some sessions for family and friends, all cleaned up from the source vinyl and sounding great. A few of these tracks have been done before by the good folks at Norton, some tracks can be found on the THE DEFINITIVE EDITION CD above - but I did find some hidden gems.

This CD has both sides of brother Doug’s Epic Records 45, Bunker Hill, Marvin Rainwater, The Ponies, Bert and Ray, Chuck Bennett, Ray Vernon...they are all represented here. The two tracks that made this purchase worthwhile for me are YOU’RE SWEETER THAN SUGAR and 99 YEARS TO GO from the WRAY BROTHERS, two rare sides from Link, Doug and Vernon.

Overall, this one is worth your hard earned money, if only for the second CD.


SO WHAT DO YOU DO?

It’s tempting to pick up music on the cheap. But sometimes you get what you pay for. Some of these releases have some hidden gems, mostly long forgotten Link tracks all cleaned up and sounding nice. But remember those record labels who do Link Wray right. Those who spend the money to produce high quality recordings with extensive liner notes and rare photographs that aren’t borrowed from other sources.

You can’t go wrong with any Link Wray release on Ace, Rollercoaster, Sundazed or Norton Records. They do Link the right way.

LINK WRAY - ROCK HALL NOMINEE!

Well folks, it finally happened. Link Wray has been nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. It’s been a long road, and Link’s family is thrilled.

THERE is a FAN BALLOT this year, so YOU can have a say! VOTE FOR LINK WRAY NOW!

Thank you all for your good thoughts and support of Link Wray. THINK LINK!

BAND OF TRIBES

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BAND OF TRIBES - featuring Link’s grandson Chris Webb! Listen to their four song demo HERE.

MORE NEWLY DISCOVERED LINK DATES

Found a few interesting Link gigs for you - added about 10 new Robert Gordon and Link Wray gigs form 1977, as well as a few from the 1958 / 1959 period.

Also found an appearance by Link on the Dick Clark Beechnut Show from 1958! The 1959 Rawhide appearance is on YouTube…when will the 1958 RUMBLE appearance surface?

For these gigs and many more, click the GIGS page in the ARCHIVE tab.