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article imageReview: Link Wray remembered at 60th anniversary of 'Rumble' in New York Special

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 1, 2018 in Music
New York - On March 31, the 60th Anniversary of "Rumble" took place at Generation Records in New York City, which honored the legacy of rock and roll legend Link Wray.
Throughout the entire event, Link Wray's music was played in the background in this noteworthy record store, that was filled with a wide collection of vinyl and classic records, cassettes and CDs. Generation Records is co-owned by Mark Yoshitomi.
MusicRealms hosted the event, and Denise Mercedes made the opening remarks. She is credited for being the sole female guitarist that ever played on stage with Link Wray.
This journalist, Digital Journal's Music Editor at Large, introduced the oldest daughter of Link Wray, Beth Wray Webb. He spoke about the interview he had done with her about her late father's 2017 nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where she described her father to him as the "truck of the rock and roll tree and branches of heavy metal, punk and hip hop branched right off from him" thanks to his profound influence. Beth had also mentioned that "Rumble" is growing just as strong now, if not stronger, when he father first created the song back in 1958. When her eldest son was born, Link became known as the "Grandfather of Rock and Roll."
Aside from Beth, other members of the Wray family that were in attendance, was her brother (Link Wray), who is the oldest son of the guitar legend, as well as Beth's son, Chris Webb.
Denise Mercedes introduced Laura Flanagan who read Greg Laxton's bio, and read Laxton's essay on Link Wray. (Laxton created the official Link Wray website).
Ellen Bello, the director of the Native American Music Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, discussed about the posthumous induction of Wray into the Native American Music Hall of Fame in 2007, two years after his death. Ms. Bello introduced Stevie Van Zandt and author and filmmaker Antonino D'Ambrosio.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stevie Van Zandt, who is affectionately known as "Little Steven," who was present at the event, praised "Rumble" and noted that he can't "overemphasize that riff." "It's an honor to be here," Steven van Zandt said, and complimented Link Wray for the attitude that he communicated, which subsequently gave birth to rebellion. "He was more than just one song. I love the family," he added.
Alfonso Miroana, the co-director of the award-winning documentary Rumble, also spoke on behalf of the film and the impact of Link Wray and other Native Americans on the contemporary music scene.
Link Wray
Link Wray
Link Wray PR photo
Beth Wray Webb also introduced Diana Holtzberg, the executive producer of Rumble. Laura Flanagan returned to the stage to read an excerpt of Dana Raidt's upcoming book on Link Wray, entitled The First Man in Black, which will be released in the fall of 2018 on Bazillion Points.
A special shout-out was given to Bryan Nilsen for his painting of Link Wray, which was presented onstage, which he revealed took approximately 60 to 70 hours to complete, as he listed to Wray's music during his painting and creative process.
Beth also introduced her son, Chris Webb, who paid a musical tribute to his grandfather with his band. They kicked off their set with "Run Chicken Run" and it included "Ace of Spades," "I'm Branded," "Switchblade" and of course, the signature song "Rumble."
The most impressive part of the event was looking back over the years, when in 1958, "Rumble" was banned on radio, and today, it is celebrated in New York City, sixty years after its release, proving that the music of Link Wray will stand the test of time.
The Verdict
Overall, this was a fantastic event for any fans of classic rock music or Link Wray. The 60th anniversary of "Rumble" proves that Link Wray rightfully belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and it is only a matter of time before it finally happens.
To learn more about the musical legacy of Link Wray, visit his official homepage.
More about Link Wray, Rumble, New york, generation records
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