780. Indians Who Rocked the World

Link Wray and Rumble

It would make sense that Americana music is informed by the music of the Native Americans but it’s not well known how. How Keimosobe? Let me tell you how. Or better yet just watch Rumble.

Leave it up to a documentary to take some exciting subject matter and suck the life right out of it. This isn’t that type of rockumentary. I hadn’t heard much of Link Wray, the inventor of the power chord and an accomplished guitarist. The teens of the 40’s and 50’s wanted a stroll so Link Wray came up with Rumble. An instrumental when instrumentals weren’t top 40 radio fare and rocked the world with it. Rumble shows how the song structure pulled from Native American beats and composition and formed the basis for jazz, blues, rock… and it can be tied back to Link.

Mildred Bailey and her Rocking Chair

All of these artists drew from their Native American roots and bloodlines. Mildred Bailey was singing in the 30’s laying down the foundation for American Jazz, the first African-American Native-American to song in front of a big band.

Charley Patton got his start playing at Dockery Plantation developing his style. He is of mixed heritage and became the grandfather of the Delta Blues. Part-African American Cherokee and Caucasian, he drew upon all these heritages in his style of music. Cited as an influence for Howling Wolf, he was raw talent. Wild and untamed.

Jimi Hendrix
Buffy Sainte-Marie
Robbie Roberson

Don’t miss out on Rumble. The best thing about the movie is the connection to the Native American a cappella groups in the South East, all female and how much it sounds like the Blues and Jazz, folk & rock. Watch it. A good thing.

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