- The Washington Times - Monday, November 21, 2005

COPENHAGEN — Guitar master Link Wray, the father of the power chord in rock ‘n’ roll, who inspired legends such as Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Pete Townshend, has died.

Mr. Wray, 76, died at his home in Copenhagen Nov. 5, according to a statement from his wife and son on his Web site. No cause of death was given, but his family said his heart was “getting tired.” He was buried quietly after a service at Copenhagen’s Christian Church on Friday.

Mr. Wray developed a style considered the blueprint for heavy-metal and punk music. Frequently seen playing in his trademark leather jacket, he is best known for his 1958 instrumental “Rumble,” 1959’s “Rawhide” and 1963’s “Jack the Ripper.”

Mr. Wray, who was three-quarters Shawnee Indian, is said to have inspired many other rock musicians, including Mr. Townshend of the Who, Mr. Bowie, Bob Dylan, Steve Van Zandt and Mr. Springsteen. All have been quoted as saying that Mr. Wray and “Rumble” inspired them to become musicians.

The power chord — a thundering sound created by playing fifths (two notes five notes apart, often with the lower note doubled an octave above) — became a favorite among rock players.



He was born Frederick Lincoln Wray Jr. in 1929 in Dunn, N.C.

Though his music went out of style in the ‘60s, Mr. Wray was rediscovered by later generations. He toured the United States and Canada since the mid-1990s, playing 40 shows this year.

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