Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Duane Eddy, Twangy Guitar Hero of Early Rock, Dead at Age 86
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 weeks ago on
May 1, 2024

Remembering Duane Eddy, the guitar hero who put the twang in early rock 'n' roll and influenced countless musicians. His distinctive sound sold over 100 million records worldwide. (AP File)

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

NEW YORK — Duane Eddy, a pioneering guitar hero whose reverberating electric sound on instrumentals such as “Rebel Rouser” and “Peter Gunn” helped put the twang in early rock ‘n’ roll and influenced George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen and countless other musicians, has died at age 86.

Eddy died of cancer Tuesday at the Williamson Health hospital in Franklin, Tennessee, according to his wife, Deed Abbate.

The Legacy of Duane Eddy

With his raucous rhythms, and backing hollers and hand claps, Eddy sold more than 100 million records worldwide, and mastered a distinctive sound based on the premise that a guitar’s bass strings sounded better on tape than the high ones.

“I had a distinctive sound that people could recognize and I stuck pretty much with that. I’m not one of the best technical players by any means; I just sell the best,” he told The Associated Press in a 1986 interview. “A lot of guys are more skillful than I am with the guitar. A lot of it is over my head. But some of it is not what I want to hear out of the guitar.”

The Twang Sound

“Twang” defined Eddy’s sound from his first album, “Have Twangy Guitar Will Travel,” to his 1993 box set, “Twang Thang: The Duane Eddy Anthology.”

“It’s a silly name for a nonsilly thing,” Eddy told the AP in 1993. “But it has haunted me for 35 years now, so it’s almost like sentimental value — if nothing else.”

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Later Years and Contributions

Eddy recorded more than 50 albums, some of them reissues. He did not work too much from the 1980s on, “living off my royalties,” he said in 1986.

About “Rebel Rouser,” he told the AP: “It was a good title and it was the rockest rock ‘n’ roll sound. It was different for the time.”

He scored theme music for movies including “Because They’re Young,” “Pepe” and “Gidget Goes Hawaiian.” But Eddy said he turned down doing the James Bond theme song because there wasn’t enough guitar music in it.

In the 1970s he worked behind-the-scenes in music production work, mainly in Los Angeles.

Eddy was born in Corning, New York, and grew up in Phoenix, where he began playing guitar at age 5. He spent his teen years in Arizona dreaming of singing on the Grand Ole Opry, and eventually signed with Jamie Records of Philadelphia in 1958. “Rebel Rouser” soon followed.

Eddy later toured with Dick Clark’s “Caravan of Stars” and appeared in “Because They’re Young,” “Thunder of Drums” among other movies.

He moved to Nashville in 1985 after years of semiretirement in Lake Tahoe, California.

Eddy was not a vocalist, saying in 1986, “One of my biggest contributions to the music business is not singing.”

Paul McCartney and George Harrison were both fans of Eddy and he recorded with both of them after their Beatles’ days. He played on McCartney’s “Rockestra Theme” and Harrison played on Eddy’s self-titled comeback album, both in 1987.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Fresno ‘Flirts’ with Hot Weather. When Will Triple Digits Arrive?

DON'T MISS

Albert Ruddy, Oscar-Winning Producer of ‘the Godfather’ and ‘Million Dollar Baby,’ Dies at 94

DON'T MISS

Who Bears Some Blame for High CA Gas Prices? Look in the Mirror

DON'T MISS

Israeli Strikes Kill 37 Palestinians Near Gaza’s Rafah as Offensive Expands

DON'T MISS

Former ‘General Hospital’ Actor Johnny Wactor Killed by Catalytic Converter Thieves

DON'T MISS

UC Workers’ Strike Spreads to UCLA & UC Davis Amid Free Speech Controversy

DON'T MISS

Celtics Look to Capture Championship, End 16-Year Drought

DON'T MISS

Not Even ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ Saves Hollywood From a Terrible Memorial Day Weekend

DON'T MISS

Melinda French Gates Pledges $1B for Women’s Rights Over 2 Years

DON'T MISS

Supreme Court Leaves Avenatti’s Conviction in Place for Plotting to Extort $25M From Nike

UP NEXT

Who Bears Some Blame for High CA Gas Prices? Look in the Mirror

UP NEXT

Israeli Strikes Kill 37 Palestinians Near Gaza’s Rafah as Offensive Expands

UP NEXT

Former ‘General Hospital’ Actor Johnny Wactor Killed by Catalytic Converter Thieves

UP NEXT

UC Workers’ Strike Spreads to UCLA & UC Davis Amid Free Speech Controversy

UP NEXT

Celtics Look to Capture Championship, End 16-Year Drought

UP NEXT

Not Even ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ Saves Hollywood From a Terrible Memorial Day Weekend

UP NEXT

Melinda French Gates Pledges $1B for Women’s Rights Over 2 Years

UP NEXT

Supreme Court Leaves Avenatti’s Conviction in Place for Plotting to Extort $25M From Nike

UP NEXT

Popular California Beach Closed After Shark Bumped Surfer off His Board

UP NEXT

The Latest | Defense Targets Michael Cohen’s Testimony in Closing Arguments in Trump Hush Money Case

Israeli Strikes Kill 37 Palestinians Near Gaza’s Rafah as Offensive Expands

29 mins ago

Former ‘General Hospital’ Actor Johnny Wactor Killed by Catalytic Converter Thieves

2 hours ago

UC Workers’ Strike Spreads to UCLA & UC Davis Amid Free Speech Controversy

3 hours ago

Celtics Look to Capture Championship, End 16-Year Drought

3 hours ago

Not Even ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ Saves Hollywood From a Terrible Memorial Day Weekend

3 hours ago

Melinda French Gates Pledges $1B for Women’s Rights Over 2 Years

3 hours ago

Supreme Court Leaves Avenatti’s Conviction in Place for Plotting to Extort $25M From Nike

3 hours ago

Popular California Beach Closed After Shark Bumped Surfer off His Board

3 hours ago

The Latest | Defense Targets Michael Cohen’s Testimony in Closing Arguments in Trump Hush Money Case

3 hours ago

Taiwan’s Legislature Passes Changes Seen as Favoring China, Reducing President’s Power

4 hours ago

Fresno ‘Flirts’ with Hot Weather. When Will Triple Digits Arrive?

The first day of triple-digit temperatures could arrive in Fresno as soon as Friday, although there’s a good chance we’ll only &...

10 mins ago

10 mins ago

Fresno ‘Flirts’ with Hot Weather. When Will Triple Digits Arrive?

19 mins ago

Albert Ruddy, Oscar-Winning Producer of ‘the Godfather’ and ‘Million Dollar Baby,’ Dies at 94

25 mins ago

Who Bears Some Blame for High CA Gas Prices? Look in the Mirror

29 mins ago

Israeli Strikes Kill 37 Palestinians Near Gaza’s Rafah as Offensive Expands

2 hours ago

Former ‘General Hospital’ Actor Johnny Wactor Killed by Catalytic Converter Thieves

3 hours ago

UC Workers’ Strike Spreads to UCLA & UC Davis Amid Free Speech Controversy

3 hours ago

Celtics Look to Capture Championship, End 16-Year Drought

3 hours ago

Not Even ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ Saves Hollywood From a Terrible Memorial Day Weekend

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend