April 13th, 2018


It’s been 60 years since legendary guitarist Link Wray released his influential instrumental song “Rumble,” and changed the face and sound of rock and roll forever. Today, Dan Auerbach’s label, Easy Eye Sound releases “Son of Rumble,” Link’s intended but never released follow-up to the song that introduced the world to power chords and intentional distortion, on a vinyl 7″ backed with “Whole Lotta Talking,” another never heard track. Get it today in the Easy Eye Sound Store.

Said Auerbach about Wray’s importance: “I saw him play in Cleveland at the Grog shop and he blew my mind. To get the chance to put out unreleased songs on Easy Eye is amazing and a dream I never thought was possible. It’s time we give Link Wray a statue on the top of the rock and roll of fame.”

Link Wray’s “Rumble” became a flash point for countless musicians including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop, Steven Van Zandt, Jeff Beck and Elvis Costello. The song was banned in New York, Boston, and Detroit, for fear it would incite juvenile violence, making Wray the only artist in history to have a banned instrumental.

Link Wray is one of the featured artists in the Sundance award-winning film RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World, a documentary about the profound, essential, and indelible impact Indigenous people have had on American music. The film includes interviews with Dan Auerbach, Iggy Pop, George Clinton, Slash, Steven Tyler, and other notable musicians, and you can learn more, and watch the film’s trailer here.

The story of Link Wray sounds like something straight out of a Hollywood movie. In 1937, a boy from the Shawnee Indian tribe was taught guitar by an African American traveling carny named Hambone in the segregated south. In 1953, that boy became a Western Swing musician who played the wake of Hank Williams. By 1956, he was a Korean War Veteran who lost a lung to TB and was told he’d never sing again. Yet, Link Wray spent the next half-century as the only one-lung singer in rock and roll, and laid the foundation for what the genre would become. The impact of Link Wray, placed in the top 50 of Rolling Stone‘s Top 100 Guitarists of All Time, can be heard in generations of American and British metal, punk, garage, grunge, thrash, and psychobilly rockers, all of whom have claimed him and “Rumble” (and follow-ups “Raw-Hide,” “Jack The Ripper,” “Ace of Spades” and many more) as their own.