I HAVEN’T BEEN PAYING a lot of attention to Quora lately, but this question caused me to respond; “Will Link Wray ever make the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?” Wray had one seminal hit, Rumble, in 1958 that Cub Koda stated popularized “popularized “the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarists.” My answer was short and, I believe, apt:
“The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame should have at least three means of entry:
• as an artist
• as an influence
• for a record
Whether or not Link belongs in the Hall as an Artist is debatable; that he was an influence and that Rumble belongs in the Hall as a record are not.
But that would have required that the people responsible for the Hall of Fame think things through.
PS: In 2018, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame introduced a new category for songs, which—while a step in some kind of right direction—certainly wasn’t what I suggested above.”
PS: Wray only ever had one more Top 40 hit, Raw-Hide. This record was released in January 1959, the same month that the television series Rawhide debuted on CBS. It ran for eight seasons and featured a young actor who would grow up to have a dubious political career. Wray’s record was not connected to the show in any manner.
FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page accompanied “Today in Music History: Honoring Link Wray” on The Current website (November 5, 2014). That article wrote: “Today in 2005, guitarist Link Wray died aged 76. Wray was credited with inventing fuzz guitar after punching a hole in a speaker giving him a distorted guitar sound. He was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in October 2013. His song Rumble was also associated with juvenile delinquency and banned by a number of radio stations during its day.”