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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Duane Eddy born 26 April 1938

Duane Eddy (born April 26, 1938) is an American guitarist. In the late 1950s and early 1960s he had a string of hit records produced by Lee Hazlewood.  The legendary simple "twangy" guitar sound of Duane Eddy has made him one of rock 'n' roll's most famous instrumental Grammy Award-winning guitarist. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, he is acclaimed as one of the most successful rock and roll instrumentalist of all time.  

Born in Corning, New York, in 1938, he began playing the guitar at the age of five, emulating his cowboy hero, Gene Autry. His family moved west to Arizona in 1951. In early 1954, in Coolidge, Arizona, Eddy met local disc jockey, Lee Hazlewood, who would become his longtime partner, co-writer and producer. They moved to Phoenix and together created a successful formula based upon Eddy's unique style and approach to the guitar, and Lee's experimental vision with sound in the recording studio. The sound was created after hearing Bill Justis' famous "Raunchy" (the song that George Harrison first learned to play).  His first album, Have Twangy Guitar Will Travel, contained six hit singles, and remained on the charts for an astounding 82 weeks.  

Together with producer Lee Hazlewood, Eddy co-wrote a deluge of hits mixed with versions of standards, using the bass strings of his Gretsch guitar recorded through an echo chamber. The debut "Movin' 'N' Groovin'" made the lower end of the US chart, and for the next six years Eddy repeated this formula with greater success. His backing group, the Rebel Rousers was a tight, experienced band with a prominent saxophone sound played by Jim Horn and Steve Douglas, completed by pianist Larry Knechtel. Among their greatest hits were "Rebel-Rouser", "Shazam", "Peter Gunn", "The Ballad Of Paladin" and "Theme From Dixie". The latter was a variation on the Civil War standard written in 1860.

One of Eddy's most memorable hits was the superlative theme music for the film Because They're Young, brilliantly combining his bass notes with evocative strings. The song has been used by UK disc jockey Johnny Walker as his theme music for over 25
years and this classic still sounds fresh. Eddy's "(Dance With The) Guitar Man" was another major hit, which was unusual for the fact that the song had lyrics, sung by a female group. Eddy's albums played heavily on the use of "twang" in the title, but that was exactly what the fans wanted.  

The hits dried up in 1964 at the dawn of the Beatles' invasion, and for many years his sound was out of fashion. An attempt in the contemporary market was lambasted with Duane Goes Dylan. Apart from producing Phil Everly's excellent Star Spangled Springer in 1973, Eddy travelled the revival circuit, always finding a small but loyal audience in the UK. Tony Macaulay wrote "Play Me Like You Play Your Guitar" for him in 1975, and after more than a decade he was back in the UK Top 10.  

He slipped back into relative obscurity but returned to the charts in 1986 when he was flattered to be asked to play with the electro-synthesizer band Art Of Noise, all the more complimentary was that it was his song, "Peter Gunn". The following year Jeff Lynne produced his first album for many years, being joined by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ry Cooder, all paying tribute to the man who should have legal copyright on the word "twang".  

In the spring of 1994, Eddy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Eddy's "Rebel Rouser" was featured that same year in Forrest Gump. Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers used "The Trembler", a track written by Eddy and Ravi Shankar. Also in 1994, Eddy teamed up with Carl Perkins and The Mavericks to contribute "Matchbox" to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Country produced by the Red Hot Organization. Eddy was the lead guitarist on Foreigner's 1995 hit "Until the end of Time", which reached the top ten on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. In 1996, Eddy played guitar on Hans Zimmer's soundtrack for the film Broken Arrow. 

On April 5, 2000, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, the title "Titan of Twang" was bestowed upon Eddy by the mayor. In 2004, Eddy was presented with the Guitar Player Magazine "Legend Award". Eddy was the second recipient of the award, the first being presented to Les Paul. 
In October 2010, Eddy returned to the UK at a sold out Royal Festival Hall in London. This success prompted the subsequent album for Mad Monkey/EMI, which was produced by Richard Hawley in Sheffield, England. The album, Road Trip, was released on June 20, 2011. Mojo placed the album at number 37 on its list of "Top 50 albums of 2011." Eddy performed at the Glastonbury Festival on June 26, 2011. (info various mainly New Musical Express)

Here's a video taken from The Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show. July 19, 1958. 


boppinbob said...

For “Twang Thang - the Duane Eddy Anthology” go here:

CD1 -

01 Moovin' 'N' Groovin'
02 Stalkin'
03 Rebel Rouser
04 Ramrod
05 Cannonball
06 The Lonely One
07 Detour
08 Three-30-Blues
09 I Almost Lost My Mind
10 Yep!
11 Forty Miles Of Bad Road
12 Have Love, Will Travel
13 Quiniela
14 Peter Gunn
15 Some Kinda Earthquake
16 First Love, First Tears
17 Shazam
18 Tiger Love And Turnip Greens
19 Trambone
20 Route Number 1
21 Because They're Young
22 Kommotion
23 Pepe

CD2 -

01 Dance With The Guitar Man
02 Ballad Of Paladin
03 Boss Guitar
04 Sugar Foot Rag
05 The Window Up Above
06 Crazy Arms
07 One Mint Julep
08 Hard Times
09 Swanee River Rock
10 Buckaroo
11 Play Me Like You Play Your Guitar
12 Roadhouse Boogie
13 Zephyr Cove
14 Road Race
15 Peter Gunn [Twang Mix]
16 The Trembler
17 Rockestra Theme

A big thank you to Jake @ Jukebox City for active links.

Pudge said...

Thanks Bob. Man, how much mileage did Eddy get from a reverb. Great post.