His guitar playing was a solid mix of Western Swing, Boogie Woogie & equal parts of Jazz, Blues and Pop. Not a day goes by that his influence cannot be heard or felt. Whether it's him or one of the many artists he helped to inspire such as: (you fill in the blanks) his influence is all encompassing.
9. Link Wray - The man who added the "power chord" to the Rock vocabulary. Influenced by blues cats such as Muddy and The Wolf, Chuck Berry and a good sized helpin' of hillbilly music, just how he came up with demoniacal rockers such as: "Jack The Ripper, Rumble, Ace Of Spades, Slinky and Rawhide" is beyond me but thank god for them all the same. He looked as cool (black leather, boots and and shades) as he sounded. Links music was drenched with feedback, distortion, tremolo and played really f***ing loud. No one would come close to this all-out sonic attack until the Stooges made the scene some 10 years later. His ouevre has become staples of many punk and garage bands and he enjoyed a major revival in the 1990's (thanks to Billy Miller and Miriam Linna at Norton Records).
Even as he pushes towards octogenerian status, Link can still kick the ass of kids a quarter of his age.
As we approach the end of the trail little buckaroos I can already hear the moans and groans in the distance. Oh fuck me, here it comes he's going to name Jimi next. Yep, you're right pardners. If ya don't dig it write your own post. That said:
10. Jimi Hendrix - Jimi was influenced by almost everyone on the list up to this point. Starting out playing at a young age in assorted garage bands, by the time he was in his early 20's Jimi had learned just about everything he possibly could on the guitar. He then tossed all this knowledge out the window, let it land where it may and began to mold all these fragments of Soul, R&B, Blues, Folk, Jazz, Surf, Rock and Funk riffs into something undeniably his own. Guitar slingers such as Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Mike Bloomfield had already been using feedback, fuzz, sheer volume & eastern drones to great effect but Hendrix took it all to new and otherworldly levels. By his combination of all these sounds with his natural showmanship, pure charisma and raw talent the influence that he exerted upon on music from Funk to Punk and well beyond is unarguable.