On the Beat

The case for Link Wray’s induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Link Wray onstage in his prime
Link Wray onstage in his prime Photo courtesy Beth Wray

It’s not just surprising that the late great Link Wray, one of the true giants of rock guitar, is not yet in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - it’s a cosmic injustice. Wray, a native of Dunn, should have been in the very first class on the strength of 1958’s seminal instrumental hit “Rumble” alone, and there’s plenty more to his legacy than that. His daughter Beth grew up watching him from close range, sometimes even onstage, where she would occasionally dance to the music as a child.

“I idolized my father,” she said in a recent interview. “He had this song ‘The Shadow Knows,’ where he laughed in a scary way on the record. So he’d say, ‘The shadow knows’ and laugh because he knew it scared me, then he’d hug me and give me kisses. I still miss him.”

For more on Wray’s life and career, see this story from Sunday’s paper.