Let's head on back to 1980 and listen to Gary Link tell us about them Shell Factory Billboard blues
Now who else but Gary Link could have
talked then Lee County Sheriff Frank
Wanicka (Left in suit) into posing
for that LP cover?
Back in 1980, Fort Myers Florida recording artist Gary Link recorded a song titled "Shell Factory Billboard Blues". It was a humorous song about a man running from a gambling debt, and he just keeps on seeing that same old sign....The Shell Factory! Though I wasn't running from the law, I remember when I moved to Florida in 1962, I just couldn't get over how many of those billboards were scattered around the state.
My wife Debbie and I had the pleasure of being business neighbors of Gary's back in the early 1980s. Gary had a recording studio, and I had a photo studio next to him. My wife also had a beauty salon a couple of doors down.
While Gary wasn't actually a country artist, he did do some country flavored songs. As for "Shell Factory", well I'm not sure what the genre of the song is, but it really doesn't matter. The fact is it's a funny song that touched the hearts of many folks in the Southwest Florida Area. I think it made the folks at the world famous Shell Factory pretty happy too!
Gary was a very talented singer, writer and piano player. Sadly we lost him much too early. He died in a auto accident in 1986. He was only 48 years old.
Give a listen to Gary's version of Shell Factory Billboard Blues. This is a good song for anyone. But for those who live in, or have visited the Fort Myers Florida area, it will have a special meaning for you, just as it always has for me.
Below is a little slide show I put together. If you have any comments, please leave them on my YouTube page, or in the guestbook located near the bottom of this page. Thanks, Gary
Don't stop here, 'cause there's much more music, user comments and photos below. So just keep on a scrolling!
Click on titles to listen to songs in the MP3 format.
A great big thanks to Doug Moser for sending me the two songs listed below. Doug says Gary was Band Director for his High School in Indiana back in the mid sixties. These songs are believed to have been recorded about that time also. The songs are from a 45 single with "Her Skirt Was Just Too Tight"" being the A side.
I also want to thank Gary's son Vince Link for verifying that these songs were indeed recorded by his late father, as MR. Moser wasn't 100% sure that his songs were recorded by the same Gary Link. Thanks again, Vince. You have something to be very proud of.
Here's a little something I found by Gary Link and the Rock-A-Fellows. Not sure if this is the same Gary Link or not. But I also asked Gary's Son Vince, and he siad he didn't really know for sure, but he personally believes it is. So do I. You?
Click on below 45 RPM record to listen to Rhythm Rock by Gary Link and The Rock-A-Fellows.
I noticed that this record was produced in Harrodsburg Kentucky. That's just ten miles from my home town of Danville, Kentucky.
Below photos are of Gary in 1964 as band director at Ligonier Indiana High School. In group shot, Gary is top left. Thanks again to Doug Moser for sending me these great old photos.
A few things folks have had to say....
I am Gary Link's older brother Ken's daughter and had the fortune of being able to spend alot of time with my uncle. I am so happy to have found this web site with the help of my Uncle David by way of My Uncle John... I miss the days singing and having fun there in the sunshine state. I remember also going to many churches where Mother and Daddy along with Uncle David and Gary would entertain the crowd with gospel songs... many either written by Uncle Gary or my Dad...
Thanks for posting this and thanks for the memories..(one of Uncle Gary's favorite songs)
Columbia City, Indiana
RE Gary Link And The Rock-A-Fellows
I knew Gary and that is him on the record. He was my music teacher when I was in 7th grade in 1962 in Ligonier, Indiana. Gary's brother Dave and I were friends in Ft Wayne. We met at UPS where we both worked. The Link family could all sing. Their father was a preacher in Columbia City, Indiana, and also ran an Antique shop and used furniture business.
I wanted to let you know I stumbled upon your website today and was amazed you had my fatherís songs on your site. Listening to them brought back several wonderful memories. Thank you for keeping his spirit alive.
Just ran across this site. We knew Gary from the Hut and have an autographed copy of his albumn. We lived in Fort Myers and our son David played his banjo with him at the Hut. Some great memories. He was very talented with an awsome personality. We were looking thru our albums and have had this one forever, and just decided to play it. What a treat it is to hear it.
Wayne & Gerri
Lake Placid, Florida
Hello Gary, I have a little bar here in St. James City, FL called the "Ragged Ass Saloon" and when we took it over 5 years ago I found a album of the "Shell Factory Billboard Blues" and thought it was so neat and one of my talented blues playing and singing employees thought it was too, so he had it put in a "Album box" and it has hung in the bar every since. Well customers have always asked about it and I never knew, just thought it was special, and now I know the "Story". Thank you, I am going to print it out and put it beside the album.....