Honoring a Rock ‘n Roll Legend in Dunn

Photo: State Rep. David Lewis, Sec. Kluttz, Link Wray III, Beth Wray Webb, Link Elvis Wray, Rep. Renee Ellmers and state Sen. Ronald Rabin pose in front of the newly dedicated marker to Link Wray.

The “power chord” is now par for the course in just about any punk or heavy metal rock song you hear on the radio, but before Link Wray’s 1958 smash hit “Rumble,” it didn’t even exist.

Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz joined members of Wray’s family and local Dunn officials earlier this month to dedicate a historical marker honoring the music legend in his hometown of Dunn. As part of the ceremony, Secretary Kluttz read a proclamation from Gov. Pat McCrory declaring May 2, 2014, Link Wray Day.

“As a member of the governor’s cabinet, I can tell you he recognizes the importance of today,” the Secretary said. “Link Wray left a legacy of some of the best music and guitar playing for the next generation to enjoy.”

The marker dedication kicked off an entire weekend of activities that celebrated the now legendary rock musician, who both Pete Townsend and Jimi Hendrix said influenced them. The highlight of the weekend was the Link Wray Music Festival which featured six bands, one of which counts Wray’s grandson as a member.

Gov. McCrory’s proclamation is available online, Be sure to check out the N.C. Arts Council’s Blue Ridge Music Trails, African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina and Performing Arts projects to discover more of North Carolina’s rich musical heritage.


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