Link Wray Net Worth: How the Guitar Legend Made His Fortune?

Link Wray Net Worth
Link Wray Net Worth

Link Wray was a groundbreaking guitarist who impacted several rock music styles, including rockabilly, surf, garage, hard rock, and punk. His 1958 instrumental smash “Rumble” was one of the first to incorporate distortion and tremolo effects.

He was also a prolific songwriter and performer, having released over 30 albums and working with a wide range of artists including Robert Gordon, Neil Young, and The Cramps. But how much money was Link Wray worth, and how did he get it? Here are some interesting facts and figures about Link Wray’s net worth and career.

Link Wray Net Worth and Earnings

Link Wray had a net worth between $1 million and $5 million at the time of his death in 2005, according to several reports. He made his riches mostly through his five-decade career as a guitarist, songwriter, and singer.

Link Wray Net Worth

He sold millions of records around the world and earned royalties and publishing rights for his tunes. He also gained money from his performances in films and television series, as well as his tours and concerts. He also had a guitar and memorabilia collection, which he sold or gifted to museums and institutions.

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Early Life and Career Beginnings

Link Wray was born on May 2, 1929, in Dunn, North Carolina, to Shawnee parents, Fred Lincoln Wray Sr. and Lillian Mae Wray. He grew up in poverty and was subjected to Ku Klux Klan persecution and brutality.

He became interested in music and learned to play the guitar after being inspired by his older brother Vernon, a country singer. During the Korean War, he suffered tuberculosis and lost a lung, which impacted his singing voice.

He began his musical career in the early 1950s, playing in several bands with his brothers Ray and Doug, including The Lucky Wray Band and The Palomino Ranch Gang. To make ends meet, he also worked as a cab driver and a butcher.

In 1956, he relocated to Washington, D.C., where he met record producer Archie Bleyer, who signed him to his Cadence Records label. In 1957, he created his band, Link Wray and His Ray Men, and released his first single, “I Sez Baby.”

Quick Facts

Real Name Fred Lincoln Link Wray Jr.
Popular Name Link Wray
Gender Male
Birth Date May 2, 1929
Age at Death 76 (Died November 5, 2005)
Parents Lillian M. Wray, Fred Lincoln Wray Sr.
Siblings Vernon Wray (Ray Vernon), Doug Wray
Birth Place Dunn, North Carolina, United States
Nationality American
Ethnicity Half-Shawnee Native American
Education N/a
Marital Status Married (Elizabeth Canady Wray, Ethel Tidwell Wray, Sharon Wray)
Sexual Orientation Straight
Wife/Spouse Olive Julie Povlsen (m. 1979-2005)
Children 8
Dating N/a
Net Worth $1 Million – $5 Million (as of December 2023)
Source of Wealth Musician, Guitarist
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.7 m)

Breakthrough and Success with “Rumble”

Link Wray made his breakthrough in 1958 with “Rumble,” a loud and scary tune that included his characteristic distorted guitar tone and tremolo effect.

He made the sound by punching holes in his amplifier’s speakers with a pencil and pulsing the volume using a volume knob. The song was initially titled “Oddball,” but Bleyer changed it to “Rumble” because it sounded like a street brawl.

The song was a massive success, peaking at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 11 on the R&B chart. It also sparked debate, as several radio stations banned it for fear of inciting violence and delinquency among youths.

The song was also important in that it inspired many future rock artists to pick up a guitar and play with distortion and feedback, including Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Neil Young.

Personal Life and Death

Link Wray has four marriages and eight children. Elizabeth Canady was his first wife, whom he married in 1956 and divorced in 1967. Olive Julie Povlsen was his second wife, whom he married in 1978 and divorced in 1980.

Sharon Wray was his third wife, whom he married in 1980 and divorced in 1994. Olive Julie Wray, his fourth and final wife, whom he married in 1997 and remained with until his death, was his fourth and final wife.

He died on November 5, 2005, in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he had lived since 1980, at the age of 76. He was suffering from heart failure, diabetes, and lung issues. He was laid to rest in Copenhagen’s Vestre Kirkegard cemetery. His family, friends, and admirers paid respect to his legacy and influence at his funeral.


Link Wray was a guitar icon whose original and influential tone changed rock music. He was well known for his 1958 hit “Rumble,” one of the first songs to employ distortion and tremolo effects. He was also a productive and versatile musician who experimented with several genres and styles and collaborated with numerous musicians.

He was also a well-liked and respected figure who got numerous prizes and honors for his work. He was a great trailblazer and a true celebrity. Follow us on Twitter to receive the most recent updates on the income of your favorite celebrities.

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