Music News

Vernon Wray: Wasted (1972)

Welcome to Obscuro, a feature where Up on the Sun dives deep into the world of vinyl oddities: private press jobs, major label cast-offs, and general thrift shop clutter that's thus far escaped anyone's attention. These LPs have been hiding out, collecting dust, until we come along, investigate, probe and listen. Records, neglected by the years, given their moment in the blog-light.

This week's Obscuro spotlight comes courtesy of two of my favorite blogs, Aquarium Drunkard and Ghost Capital, both which featured the record in recent months.

The older brother of Link "Rumble" Wray, Vernon cut Wasted in Tucson, where he assembled Vernon Wray's Record Factory from the rubble of his brother's infamous Three Track Shack.

Like Link's early 70s albums, the record has little in common with the brothers surf excursions, instead featuring low down country soul, sounding as dusty and out there as the town where he recorded it. 

The record touches on topics ranging from racism, drinking and prison, standard topics for the genre, but does so in a unique way. Lee Hazelwood and Waylon Jennings are touchstones, but the record sounds like its own thing, beholden only to its creator.

Vernon passed away in Tucson in 1979, just 7 years after this record was released. 

Details: Link Wray, Wasted, 1972 on Vermillion Records (re-issued this year by Sebastian Speaks)

Google Search Reveals: In addition to the aforementioned links, Wray site WraysShacks3Tracks has a great bio on Vernon.

Who Bought This: 400 lucky Tusconians. That's how many copies were pressed and sold at Tucson shows.

Vernon Wray- When I Start Drinkin' by OBSCURO @ PHXMUSIC.COM

Vernon Wray- Prison Song by OBSCURO @ PHXMUSIC.COM 

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.