Myths Of Distorted Guitars

Guitarist Mary OsborneWhen was distortion used on electric guitar for the first time? There are several myths around. The best known says that Ike Turner – who recently passed away – was the first one to include a distorted guitar on Rocket 88. This song was recorded at Sun Studios, Memphis, in 1951. Wrong!

Another widespread myth says that Link Wray was the first one to use a distorted guitar on “Rumble”, an instrumental he recorded in 1958. Wrong!

Don’t expect me to tell you, when the sound of a distorted guitar really was used for the very first time. But let me give you a few examples of distorted guitars that were recorded before 1951. And let me prove, that the existing myths of distorted guitars are nothing but – well myths.

Looks like jazz guitarist Mary Osborne is the first one who used distortion on her guitar. At least on this rather random list. Do you have any more examples of distorted guitar before 1951? Please let me know.

See also:

Myths Of Distorted Guitars

4 thoughts on “Myths Of Distorted Guitars

  1. Hi Uwe

    Thank you very much for these great links! Junior Barnard is a great guitarist! What a sound, and how he swings. After hearing him play you never want to listen to any boring rock guitar solo ;-)

  2. Hi,
    Tiny Grimes had some pretty nice distorted guitar recordings too
    in that period 1946-1950. Unfortunatly I do not have examples to link to
    but it is definitly worth checking out.


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