Duane Eddy

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Duane Eddy
Eddy in 1960
Eddy in 1960
Background information
Born (1938-04-26) April 26, 1938 (age 84)
Corning, New York, U.S.
Years active1954–present
LabelsJamie, RCA Victor, Gregmark
(m. 1961; div. 1968)

Duane Eddy (born April 26, 1938)[2] is an American rock and roll guitarist. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he had a string of hit records produced by Lee Hazlewood, which were noted for their characteristically "twangy" sound, including "Rebel-'Rouser", "Peter Gunn", and "Because They're Young".[3] He had sold 12 million records by 1963.[2]

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994,[4] and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2008.[5]

Early life[edit]

Eddy was born in Corning, New York. He began playing the guitar at the age of five. In 1951, his family moved to Tucson, and then to Coolidge, Arizona.[2] At the age of 16 he formed a duo, Jimmy and Duane, with his friend Jimmy Delbridge (who later recorded as Jimmy Dell).[6]


Eddy performing in 2018

While performing at local radio station KCKY, they met disc jockey Lee Hazlewood, who produced the duo's single, "Soda Fountain Girl", recorded and released in 1955 in Phoenix. Hazlewood then produced Sanford Clark's 1956 hit, "The Fool", featuring guitarist Al Casey, while Eddy and Delbridge performed and appeared on radio stations in Phoenix before joining Buddy Long's Western Melody Boys, playing country music in and around the city.[7][8][9]

Eddy devised a technique of playing lead on his guitar's bass strings to produce a low, reverberant "twangy" sound. When he was 19 he had obtained a 1957 Chet Atkins model Gretsch 6120 guitar at Ziggie's Music in Phoenix, Arizona[citation needed] and in November 1957, Eddy recorded an instrumental, "Movin' n' Groovin'", co-written by Eddy and Hazlewood. As the Phoenix studio had no echo chamber, Hazlewood bought a 2,000-gallon (7570-litre) water storage tank that he used as an echo chamber to accentuate the "twangy" guitar sound.[10] In 1958, Eddy signed a recording contract with Lester Sill and Lee Hazlewood to record in Phoenix at the Audio Recorders studio. Sill and Hazlewood leased the tapes of all the singles and albums to the Philadelphia-based Jamie Records.

"Movin' n' Groovin'" reached number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1958; the opening riff, borrowed from Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man", was in turn copied a few years later by the Beach Boys on "Surfin' U.S.A.".[3] The follow-up, "Rebel-'Rouser", featured a overdubbed saxophone by Los Angeles session musician Gil Bernal, and yells and handclaps by doo-wop group the Rivingtons.[7][11] The tune became Eddy's breakthrough hit, reaching number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It sold over one million copies, earning Eddy his first gold disc.[2]

Eddy had a succession of hit records over the next few years, and his band members, including Steve Douglas, saxophonist Jim Horn, and keyboard player Larry Knechtel went on to work as part of Phil Spector's Wrecking Crew.[12] According to writer Richie Unterberger, "The singles — 'Peter Gunn', 'Cannonball', 'Shazam', and 'Forty Miles of Bad Road' were probably the best — also did their part to help keep the raunchy spirit of rock and roll alive, during a time in which it was in danger of being watered down."[3] On January 9, 1958, Eddy's debut album, Have 'Twangy' Guitar Will Travel, was released, reaching number five, and remaining on the album charts for 82 weeks. On his fourth album, Songs of Our Heritage (1960), each track featured him playing acoustic guitar or banjo.[13] Eddy's biggest hit came with the theme of the movie Because They're Young in 1960,[2] which featured a string arrangement, and reached a chart peak of number four in America and number two in the UK in September 1960.[3][14] It became his second million-selling disc.[2] Eddy's records were consistently even more successful in the UK than they were in his native United States, and in 1960, readers of the UK's NME voted him World's Number One Musical Personality, ousting Elvis Presley.

In 1960, Eddy signed a contract directly with Jamie Records, bypassing Sill and Hazlewood. This caused a temporary rift between Eddy and Hazlewood. The result was that for the duration of his contract with Jamie, Eddy produced his own singles and albums.

Duane Eddy and the Rebels became a frequent act on The Dick Clark Show.

During the 1960s, Eddy launched an acting career, appearing in such films as A Thunder of Drums, The Wild Westerners, Kona Coast, and The Savage Seven, and two appearances on the television series Have Gun – Will Travel.[2] He married singer Jessi Colter in 1961, the same year he signed a three-year contract with Paul Anka's production company, Camy, whose recordings were issued by RCA Victor.[3] In the early days of recording in the RCA Victor studios, he renewed contact with Lee Hazlewood, who became involved in a number of his RCA Victor singles and albums. Eddy's 1962 single release, "(Dance With The) Guitar Man", co-written with Hazlewood, earned his third gold disc by selling a million records.[2]

In the 1970s, he produced album projects for Phil Everly and Waylon Jennings. In 1972, he worked with Al Gorgoni, rhythm guitar, on BJ Thomas's "Rock and Roll Lullaby". In 1975, a collaboration with hit songwriter Tony Macaulay and former founding member of The Seekers, Keith Potger, led to another UK top-10 record, "Play Me Like You Play Your Guitar".[15] The single, "You Are My Sunshine", featuring Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, hit the country charts in 1977.[citation needed]

In 1986, Eddy recorded with Art of Noise, remaking his 1960 version of Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn".[3] The song was a top-10 hit around the world, ranking number one on Rolling Stone's dance chart for six weeks that summer. "Peter Gunn" won the Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental of 1986. It also gave Eddy the distinction of being the only instrumentalist to have had top-10 hit singles in four different decades in the UK.[citation needed] (Although his 1975 top-10 hit featured a female vocal group).

The following year, Duane Eddy was released on Capitol. Several of the tracks were produced by Paul McCartney, Jeff Lynne, Ry Cooder, and Art of Noise.[3] Guest artists and musicians included John Fogerty, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ry Cooder, James Burton, David Lindley, Phil Pickett, Steve Cropper, and original Rebels, Larry Knechtel and Jim Horn. The album included a cover of Paul McCartney's 1979 instrumental, "Rockestra Theme". In 1982, Duane Eddy's "Rebel Walk" was heard in the musical comedy, Grease 2, featured as background music at the bowling alley, when the T-Birds rushed to face rival Leo Balmudo. Though it was not a part of the original soundtrack, it was mentioned in the film's credits. In 1992, Eddy recorded a duet with Hank Marvin on Marvin's album Into the Light, with a cover version of The Chantays' 1963 hit "Pipeline".

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 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. In 1996, Eddy played guitar on Hans Zimmer's soundtrack for the film Broken Arrow.[16]

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.[17] 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."[18] Eddy performed at the Glastonbury Festival on June 26, 2011.[17]

For an 80th-birthday tour in 2018, Eddy returned to the UK in concerts with Liverpudlian singer-songwriter Robert Vincent, performing on October 23 at the London Palladium,[19] and October 30 at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.[20]


In the spring of 1994, Eddy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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.


Among those who have acknowledged Eddy's influence are George Harrison,[3] Dave Davies, Hank Marvin,[3] the Ventures,[21] John Entwistle,[21] Bruce Springsteen, Adrian Belew, Bill Nelson, Mark Knopfler, and Ben Vaughn.[22]

Signature guitars[edit]

Eddy's favored guitar was a 1957 Chet Atkins Gretsch 6120 guitar that he bought at Ziggie's Music in Phoenix, Arizona in 1957 (for which he had traded in his gold top Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar from the early 1950s plus monthly payments of $17,-).[citation needed][23] From 1959's The "Twangs" the "Thang" LP he also used a Danelectro six-string bass guitar.[citation needed]

Eddy was the first rock and roll guitarist to have a signature model guitar[citation needed], as in 1961 the Guild Guitar Company introduced the Duane Eddy signature models DE-400 and the deluxe DE-500. A limited edition of the DE-500 model was reissued briefly in 1983 to mark Eddy's 25th anniversary in the recording industry. In 1997, 40 years after he had bought his Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120, Gretsch started production of the Duane Eddy Signature Model, the Gretsch 6120-DE. In 2004, the Gibson Custom Art and Historic Division introduced the new Duane Eddy Signature Gibson guitar. A new Gretsch G6120DE Duane Eddy Signature model was released in spring 2011 and in 2018 Gretsch released the G6120TB-DE Duane Eddy 6-string bass model.[citation needed]


  • Number One World Musical Personality in the NME Poll (UK: 1960)
  • Grammy Winner – Best Rock Instrumental – "Peter Gunn" (1986)
  • Grammy Nomination – Best Country Instrumental – (Doc Watson album) (1992)
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Member (1994)
  • Rockwalk Induction (1997)
  • Presented with "Chetty" award by Chet Atkins (2000)
  • Guitar Player Magazine Legend Award (2004)
  • Musicians Hall of Fame Member (2008)
  • Mojo Icon Award (UK: 2010)



Year Titles
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart positions Album
Cashbox UK
1955 "I Want Some Lovin'"
b/w "Soda Fountain Girl"
Shown as "Jimmy & Duane with Buddy Long & The Western Melody Boys"
- - - Non-LP tracks
1958 "Moovin' n' Groovin'"
b/w "Up and Down" (From $1,000,000 Worth of Twang, Volume II)
72 54 - Have "Twangy" Guitar Will Travel
b/w "Stalkin'"
6 7 19
b/w "The Walker" (Non-LP track)
27 33 -
b/w "Mason Dixon Lion" (Non-LP track)
15 16 22
1959 "The Lonely One"
b/w "Detour"
23 19 -
"Peter Gunn"
b/w "Yep!"
(see 1960) 6 Especially for You
b/w "Three-30-Blues" (from Have "Twangy" Guitar Will Travel)
30 27 17
"Forty Miles of Bad Road" / 9 10 11 $1,000,000 Worth of Twang
"The Quiet Three" 46 68 -
"Some Kind-a Earthquake" / 37 28 12
"First Love, First Tears" 59 75 -
1960 "Bonnie Came Back"
b/w "Lost Island" (Non-LP track)
26 20 12
b/w "The Secret Seven" (Non-LP track)
45 41 4 Duane Eddy's 16 Greatest Hits
"Because They're Young"
b/w "Rebel Walk" (from The "Twangs" The "Thang")
4 3 2 $1,000,000 Worth of Twang
b/w "Theme for Moon Children"
78 39 13
"Peter Gunn"
b/w "Along the Navajo Trail"
27 26 (see 1959) Especially For You
1961 "Pepe"
b/w "Lost Friend"
18 19 2 $1,000,000 Worth of Twang, Volume II
"Theme from Dixie" / 39 37 7
"Gidget Goes Hawaiian" 101 - -
"Ring of Fire"
b/w "Bobbie" (from $1,000,000 Worth of Twang, Volume II)
84 57 17 Non-LP track
"Drivin' Home"
b/w "Tammy" (from Girls! Girls! Girls!)
87 69 30 $1,000,000 Worth of Twang, Volume II
"My Blue Heaven"
b/w "Along Came Linda" (from Especially for You)
50 81 - The "Twangs" the "Thang"
"Caravan" (Part 1)
b/w "Caravan" (Part 2)
- - 42 Non-LP tracks
1962 "The Avenger"
b/w "Londonderry Air"
101 - -
"Moanin' 'n' Twistin'"
18 19 2 Twistin' 'n' Twangin'
"The Battle"
b/w "Trambone"
114 100 - The "Twangs" the "Thang"
"Deep in the Heart of Texas"
b/w "Saints and Sinners" (Non-LP track)
78 83 19 The Best of Duane Eddy
"Runaway Pony"
b/w "Just Because" (from Especially for You)
- - Non-LP track
"The Ballad of Paladin"
b/w "The Wild Westerners" (Non-LP track)
33 48 10 The Best of Duane Eddy
"(Dance with the) Guitar Man"
b/w "Stretchin' Out" (Non-LP track)
12 11 4 Dance with the Guitar Man
1963 "Boss Guitar"
b/w "The Desert Rat" (Non-LP track)
28 30 27 The Best of Duane Eddy
"Lonely Boy, Lonely Guitar"
b/w "Joshin'" (Non-LP track)
82 76 35
"Your Baby's Gone Surfin"
b/w "Shuckin'" (Non-LP track)
93 82 49
1964 "The Son of Rebel Rouser"
b/w "The Story of Three Loves"
97 90 - Non-LP tracks
"Guitar Child"
b/w "Jerky Jalopy" (Non-LP track)
- - Twangin' Up a Storm
"Water Skiing"
b/w "Theme from 'A Summer Place'" (from Twangin' the Golden Hits)
- - Water Skiing
"Guitar Star"
b/w "The Iguana"
- - - Non-LP tracks
1965 "Moon Shot"
b/w "Roughneck"
- - -
b/w "South Phoenix"
- - - Duane a Go-Go
"Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"
b/w "The House of the Rising Sun"
- - - Duane Eddy Does Bob Dylan
1966 "El Rancho Grande"
b/w "Papa's Movin' On (I'm Movin' On)"
- - - Non-LP tracks
b/w "This Guitar Was Made for Twangin'"
- - - The Biggest Twang of Them All
1967 "Roarin'"
b/w "Monsoon" (Non-LP track)
- - - The Roarin' Twangies
"Guitar on My Mind"
b/w "Wicked Woman from Wickenburg" (from The Roarin' Twangies)
Shown as by "Duane and Miriam Eddy"
- - - Non-LP tracks
1968 "There Is a Mountain"
b/w "This Town"
- - -
"The Satin Hours"
b/w "Niki Hoeky"
- - -
1969 "Break My Mind"
b/w "Lovingbird"
- - -
1970 "Freight Train"
b/w "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"
110 - -
b/w "The Five-Seventeen"
- - -
1972 "Renegade"
b/w "Nightly News"
- - -
1975 "Play Me Like You Play Your Guitar"
b/w "Blue Montana Sky"
- - 9
"The Man With The Gold Guitar"
b/w "Mark of Zorro"
- - -
"Love Confusion"
b/w "Love is a Warm Emotion"
- - -
1976 "You Are My Sunshine"
b/w "From 8 to 7"
- - -
1986 "Peter Gunn" (with Art of Noise)
b/w "Something Always Happens" (The Art of Noise)
50 49 8
1987 "Spies"
b/w "Rockabilly Holiday"
- - - Duane Eddy

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title U.S. Billboard 200 UK Albums Chart[26] Label and stereo catalogue reference Notes
1958 Have 'Twangy' Guitar Will Travel[27] 5 6 Jamie JLPS-3000 Original album covers were white with Duane Eddy sitting on guitar case and the LP title in white. Second pressings showed the same cover with the LP title in green and red; third pressings were red album covers with Duane Eddy standing.
Note: It is very likely that so-called "original" version white letter covers do not exist.
1959 Especially for You 24 6 Jamie JLPS-3006
The "Twangs" the "Thang" 18 2 Jamie JLPS-3009
1960 Songs of Our Heritage - 13 Jamie JLPS-3011 Original copies featured gatefold covers, later replaced with regular covers. Also pressed in limited quantities of red vinyl and blue vinyl
1961 Girls! Girls! Girls! 93 - Jamie JLPS-3019 Front cover features photos of Duane Eddy with Brenda Lee and Annette Funicello
1962 Twistin' with Duane Eddy - - Jamie JLPS-3022
Twistin' 'N' Twangin' 82 8 RCA LSP-2525
Twangy Guitar – Silky Strings 72 13 RCA LSP-2576
1963 Duane Eddy & The Rebels – In Person (aka Surfin') - - Jamie JLPS-3024
Dance with the Guitar Man 47 14 RCA LSP-2648
"Twang" a Country Song - - RCA LSP-2681
"Twangin'" Up a Storm! 93 - RCA LSP-2700
1964 Lonely Guitar 144 - RCA LSP-2798
1965 Water Skiing - - RCA LSP-2918
Twangin' the Golden Hits - - RCA LSP-2993
Twangsville - - RCA LSP-3432
Duane-a-Go-Go - - Colpix CPS-490
Duane Eddy Does Bob Dylan - - Colpix CPS-494
1966 The Biggest Twang of All - - Reprise RS-6218
1967 The Roaring Twangies - - Reprise RS-6240
Tokyo Hits - - Reprise Japan only release
1987 Duane Eddy & The Rebels - - Capitol ST-12567
2011 Road Trip - 116 Mad Monkey/EMI MAD1


Year Title U.S. Billboard 200 UK Albums Chart[26] Label and stereo catalogue reference Notes
1960 $1,000,000.00 Worth of Twang 10 5 Jamie JLPS-3014
1962 $1,000,000.00 Worth of Twang, Volume 2 - 18 Jamie JLPS-3021
1964 16 Greatest Hits - - Jamie JLPS-3026
1965 The Best of Duane Eddy - - RCA LSP-3477
1975 Guitar Man - - GTO GTLP 002[28]
1978 Pure Gold - - RCA ANL1-2671
Twenty Terrific Twangies - - RCA
1991 Twangy Peaks - - EMI CDP 7965572
1993 Twang Thang: The Duane Eddy Anthology - - Rhino R2-71223
1994 Twangin' From Phoenix To L.A. - - Bear Family Records/BCD 15778 EK
1996 Ghostrider - - Curb D2-77801
2013 Complete UK Hits: 1958–62 - - Peaksoft PEA016


Film appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Duane Eddy and Richard Hawley bring back the twang - BBC News". Bbc.com. June 29, 2011. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 100. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Unterberger, Richie (April 26, 1938). "Duane Eddy – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  4. ^ "Duane Eddy bio". Rockhall.com. April 26, 1938. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  5. ^ Daniel Kreps (October 29, 2008). "Kid Rock, Keith Richards Help Induct Crickets, Muscle Shoals into Musicians Hall of Fame | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  6. ^ "Biography at HistoryofRock.com". History-of-rock.com. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Tony Hoffman (April 26, 1938). "Duane Eddy: The Undisputed King of Twang at Instrumental Review". Instrumentalreview.com. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  8. ^ "Jimmy Dell at Black Cat Rockabilly". Rockabilly.nl. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  9. ^ "Interview and article by Jeb Rosebrook, The Republic, 25 June 2000". Tony50.tripod.com. June 25, 2000. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  10. ^ Twangin' From Phoenix To L.A.: The Jamie Years, Bear Family Records – BCD 15778
  11. ^ "Review of Califia: The Songs of Lee Hazlewood at". Soundblab.com. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  12. ^ "The Duane Eddy Circle: career synopsis". Angelfire.com. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  13. ^ "Jamie Album Discography". Bsnpubs.com. April 5, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1987). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (3rd ed.). New York: Billboard Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-8230-7520-6
  15. ^ "Duane Eddy & The Rebelettes / Duane Eddy – Play Me Like You Play Your Guitar / Blue Montana Sky (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  16. ^ "Broken Arrow – full credit listing". IMDb.com. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  17. ^ a b Caroline Sullivan (June 23, 2011). "Duane Eddy – review | Music". The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  18. ^ "MOJO's Top 50 Albums of 2011". Stereogum. December 2, 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  19. ^ "Country Music Week — Duane Eddy twangs the London Palladium — ****". Buildingourownnashville.com. October 26, 2018. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  20. ^ "REVIEW: Duane Eddy, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester". Theargus.co.uk. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Prown, Pete; Newquist, H.P; and Eiche, Jon F. (1997). Legends of Rock Guitar, pp. 21–22. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 0-7935-4042-9.
  22. ^ "BIO". Ben Vaughn. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  23. ^ "Duane Eddy". celebrityrockstarguitars.com. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  24. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955–2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 218. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
  25. ^ Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952–2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 248. ISBN 0-00-717931-6.
  26. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 178. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  27. ^ "Have Twangy Guitar Will Travel". Tony50.tripod.com. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  28. ^ "Duane Eddy - Guitar Man". Discogs.com. Retrieved June 11, 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • Furek, Maxim, The Jordan Brothers: A Musical Biography of Rock's Fortunate Sons. Kimberley Press, 1986.
  • Hardy, Phil and Dave Laing, Encyclopedia of Rock, Schrimner Books, 1987.
  • Stambler, Irwin, The Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock and Soul, St. Martin's, 1989.
  • Rees, Dafydd, and Luke Crampton, Rock Movers & Shakers, ABC-CLIO, 1991.
  • The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll edited by Jon Pareles and Patr Romanowski, Rolling Stone Press/Summit Books, 1993.
  • Morritt, Bob, Rockin' in the Desert contains authorized biography, edited by Duane Eddy, Canaan-Star Publishing, 2012.

External links[edit]