TVD Radar: Link Wray lost tracks, 7-inch single in stores 4/13

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “He’s the king. If it hadn’t been for Link Wray and “Rumble,” I’d have never picked up a guitar.”Pete Townshend

Dan Auerbach’s label, Easy Eye Sound, will release two previously lost and unreleased tracks from the archives of the legendary Link Wray, “Vernon’s Diamond” which was recorded between 1958-59 at the Broadway Recording Studio in NYC and “My Brother, My Son” recorded in 1970 at Fred Foster Studios in Nashville, TN, as a 7-inch vinyl on Record Store Day 2019. All profits from sales of the 7-inch will benefit a planned Link Wray Statue in his home state of North Carolina. You can find more information about this release here.

Said Dan Auerbach of 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 Sound is amazing and a dream I never thought was possible.”

The story of “Vernon’s Diamond” is as fascinating as the man himself. During the late months of 1958, Link was in New York for a gig and tracked the song at Broadway Recording Studio which was cut live to 45 acetate disc. The disc sat, unrecognized and gathering dust, on a shelf for 60 years before being recently rediscovered. Keeping with Link’s practice of re-naming versions of his music throughout the years, “A Cook for Mr. General” transformed into “Vernon’s Diamond.” Then, recorded again later, was renamed one more time and became Link’s “Ace of Spades.”

Easy Eye Sound has previously released “Son of Rumble,” Link’s intended but never released follow-up to the song that introduced the world to power chords and intentional distortion. ‘Rumble” itself was recently inducted into the inaugural class of Rock & Roll Singles at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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.

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