Pat Hare

Pat Hare  (December 20, 1930 - September 26, 1980) was an American Memphis electric blues guitarist and singer.  His heavily distorted, power chord-driven electric guitar music in the early 1950’s is considered an important precursor to heavy metal music.  His guitar work with Little Junior’s Blue Flames had a major influence on the rockabilly style, while his guitar playing on blues records by artists such as Muddy Waters was influential among 1960’s British Invasion blues rock bands such as The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds.  (More from Wikipedia)

The very earliest power chords are credited to 1950’s bluesmen.  Music historian Robert Palmer (not the same man as the 1980’s singer named Robert Palmer by the way) cites Willie Johnson (on Howlin’ Wolfs “How Many More Years” that was recorded in 1951) and Pat Hare (on James Cotton’s “Cotton Crop Blues” that was recorded in 1954).  If the name of the former song rings a bell, you are likely remembering “How Many More Times”, the last and longest track on Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut album, Led Zeppelin.  Under his real name, Chester BurnettHowlin’ Wolf got a songwriting credit on later editions of the album.  Anyway, the Brits liked what they heard and launched the British Invasion, and the rest is history. 


Whether or not Link Wray heard these records and got the idea has not been established as far as I know. 


(February 2013)


Last edited: March 22, 2021