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Guitar Preacher: The Polydor Years

Link Wray

Initial release : 1995

Polydor 7717

Garcia plays on four tracks on this double CD compilation. All these tracks are taken from the Link Wray LP Be What You Want To.


  • La De Da (Y. Verroca)
  • Take Me Home Jesus (Y. Verroca)
  • Juke Box Mama (Y. Verroca)
  • Rise And Fall Of Jimmy Stokes (Y. Verroca)
  • Fallin' Rain (Link Wray)
  • Fire And Brimstone (Link Wray)
  • Ice People (Link Wray)
  • God Out West (Y. Verroca)
  • Crowbar (Link Wray)
  • Black River Swamp (Link Wray)
  • Tail Dragger (Willie Dixon)
  • Hobo Man (Y. Verroca / Link Wray)
  • I'm So Glad, I'm So Proud (Y. Verroca / Link Wray)
  • Georgia Pines (Traditional arr. Y. Verroca / Link Wray)
  • Water Boy (Y. Verroca / Link Wray)
  • Alabama Electric Circus (Y. Verroca / Link Wray)
  • Take My Hand (Precious Lord) (Traditional arr. Y. Verroca / Link Wray)
  • Walkin' In The Arizona Sun (Y. Verroca / Link Wray)
  • Scorpio Woman (Y. Verroca / Link Wray)
  • All Because Of A Woman (Y. Verroca / Link Wray)
  • On The Run (Y. Verroca / Link Wray / Mordicai Jones)
  • Days Before Custer (Y. Verroca / Link Wray)
  • Be What You Want To (Link Wray)
  • All Cried Out (M Deborah and M Curtis)
  • Tucson, Arizona (Doug Wray)
  • River Bend (Link Wray)
  • You Walked By (Link Wray)
  • Walk Easy, Walk Slow (Link Wray)
  • Morning (Link Wray)
  • It Was a Bad Scene (Link Wray)
  • Good Time Joe (Link Wray)
  • Walkin' Bulldog (Link Wray)
  • I Got To Ramble (Link Wray)
  • Backwoods Preacher Man (Tony Joe White)
  • She's That Kind Of Woman (Link Wray)
  • Super 88 (Mark T Jordan)
  • Rumble (Link Wray)

Garcia plays on four tracks on this double CD compilation. These tracks are all taken from the 1973 Link Wray album Be What You Want To.

The musicians listed in the CD booklet for the tracks that include Garcia are;

All Cried Out; Tucson, Arizona; River Bend; Walk Easy, Walk Slow;

  • Link Wray - vocals and guitar
  • Tom Salisbury - piano
  • Jerry Garcia - pedal steel guitar
  • Chris Michie - acoustic guitar
  • John Dzerigian - electric guitar (not on Walk Easy, Walk Slow)
  • Greg Douglass - electric guitar (only on All Cried Out)
  • Kip Maercklein - bass
  • Rick Schlosser - drums
The musician details given on the cover of the original album are more detailed than those given in the booklet for this compilation. See the discography entry for Be What You Want To for these details

The musicians on the rest of the tracks on the compilation are;

  • Link Wray - guitar, dobro, bass, vocals
  • Greg Adams - trumpet, horn arrangements
  • Paul Barlow - bass
  • Robert Lee Black - pedal steel guitar
  • David Bromberg - acoustic guitar
  • Jules Broussard - tenor saxaphone
  • Emilio Castillo - saxophone
  • Commander Cody - piano
  • Bill Combs - vocals
  • Joe Crane - bass, piano, vocals
  • Lance Dickerson - drums
  • Skip Drinkwater - percussion, vocals
  • Pete Escovedo - congas
  • George Frayne - keyboards
  • Mic Gillette - trumpet
  • John Grummere - guitar, vocals
  • Billy Hodges - piano, organ, scratcher, vocals
  • Bobby Howard (aka Mordicai Jones) - mandolin, piano, harp, vocals
  • Zeller Hurd - vocals
  • Mark Jordan - keyboards, vocals
  • Peter Kaukonen - electric guitar
  • William Kirchen - electric guitar
  • Bernie Krause - moog synthesizer, programming
  • Steve Kupka - saxophone
  • Ned Levitt - foot, hands, vocals
  • Dorothy Morrison - vocals
  • Andy Narell - steel drums, moog synthesizer
  • Neville Brothers
  • Lenny Pickett - saxophone
  • Boz Scaggs - guitar, vocals
  • Joe Scott - vocals
  • Andy Stein - fiddle
  • Bruce Steinberg - harmonica
  • Norman Sue - bass, vocals
  • Tom Rutley - bass
  • Steve Verroca - drums, percussion, vocals
  • Glen Walters - vocals
  • Doug Wray - guitar, drums, percussion, vocals

For the original recording of Be What You Want To;

  • Producer - Thom Jefferson Kaye
  • Horn and string arrangements - Tom Salisbury
  • Engineer - Mallory Earl
  • Assistant engineer - Dan Osoke
  • Technical advisors - Vernon Wray, Doug Wray
  • Recorded at Wally Heider's Studio, San Francisco
For the other original albums from which tracks were taken for this compilation;
  • Link Wray
  • Producer - Steve Verroca, Ray Vernon
  • Engineer - Ray Vernon, Chuck Irwin
  • Recorded at Wray's Shack Three Track

  • Beans and Fatback
  • Producer - Steve Verroca
  • Engineer - Ray Vernon, Chuck Irwin
  • Recorded at Wray's Shack Three Track

  • Mordicai Jones
  • Producer - Steve Verroca
  • Engineer - Ray Vernon, Chuck Irwin
  • Recorded at Wray's Shack Three Track

  • The Link Wray Rumble
  • Producer - Skip Drinkwater, Bruce Steinberg
  • Engineer - Steve Jarvis, Jack Leahy, Valerie Clausen, Mike Stone
  • Mixing - Fred Catero
  • Assistant engineer - Valerie Clausen
  • Recorded at Wally Heider's, SF, Funky Features, SF and Record Plant, Sausalito
Credits for the compilation CD;
  • Compilation producer - Bill Levenson
  • Project coordination - Terri Tierney
  • Project assistance - Catherine Ladis
  • Mastering - Steven Fallon
  • Essay - Colin Escott
  • Package design - Mark Weinberg / Command-O design
  • Photography - Bruce Steinberg, Grant Johnson

This is a double CD compilation incorporating tracks from the 5 LPs Wray recorded for Polydor between 1971 and 1974.

The essay in the booklet provides a brief history of Wray before and after this period and a more detailed description of the recording of the albums concerned - including the following about Be What You Want To;

When Link came back to Polydor, it was with Be What You Want To in 1973. [Bob] Feldman insists that, had he not been ousted from the picture, the second album would have been a supergroup session, and that Polydor's parent company would have bankrolled an accompanying movie. Then someone had the idea of recording Link in Nashville with the Allmans, but he ended up in San Francisco with producer Thomas Jefferson Kaye. To that point, Kaye's chief claim to fame was that he had produced Loudon Wainwright's Dead Skunk.

After the back-beyond-basics of the first album, Kaye went to the other end of the production spectrum, opting for a very full production with an assortment of rent-a-guests like Commander Cody, Jerry Garcia and David Bromberg. Like Link Wray, Be What You Want To also stood a chance of breaking through, although for different reasons. It was very much of its time in a Leon Russell-ish kind of way. Asked about it later, Link was dismissive. "It was commercial," he told Sounds magazine in London, "but it wasn't me. When people buy a Link Wray album, I want them to buy it because it's Link Wray, not because Commander Cody's on it."

In an interview in 1997 Link Wray spoke about his time with Polydor and why musicians like Garcia played on his LPs at that time;
"That was 'cause I had a big record company then, and they wanted to put all them big superstars on it so they could sell records . . . And none of them people wanted to get paid for doin' it. Like Jerry Garcia, he said, 'I love Link Wray. I just come to play, I don't even give a shit about gettin' paid.' And it was the same with John Cipollina from Quicksilver Messenger Service, Boz Scaggs, Commander Cody and all them guys who was on those records. They just come out and supported me and said, 'We really love your music, Link. We was listenin' to you when we was learnin' to play gee-tar.' And the record company ate that up.
Related releases

The tracks that feature Garcia were originally released on;

Tracks from the following LPs were also included on this compilation;
  • Link Wray, Link Wray, May 1971
  • Beans and Fatback, Link Wray, Unreleased in US
  • Mordicai Jones, Mordicai Jones (aka Bobby Howard, 1971
  • The link wray rumble, Link Wray, 1974
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