Duane Eddy, The Rock and Roll Twanger

December 23, 2009 by  
Filed under All Articles, Featured, Music & Bands, Rockabilly

Duane Eddy, The Rock and Roll Twanger

Guest Post by Elana Kluner

Duane Eddy - Guitar Man

Duane Eddy - Guitar Man

New York born Duane Eddy was the most successful instrumentalist to ever contribute to rock music. With fifteen singles to hit the charts, he really took over the music scene throughout the fifties and the sixties. He accumulated fans worldwide and sold over 100 million records. Before he made it big, he moved to Phoenix with his family and grew a love for single-note melodies which he played on the low strings of his guitar. Like all hopeful artists, Eddy sent in a demo tape to a local disc jockey. The DJ picked up the track and worked with Eddy to formulate a magical record. It involved all different musical elements such as gospel, country and jazz. Every so often, vocalists would come on his track to contribute back up vocals or imitate battle cries to give the song an edge.

Duane Eddy - Songs of our Heritage

Duane Eddy - Songs of our Heritage

He also brought on different musicians, such as pianists and saxophonists which helped lead him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and later win numerous Grammy’s.

Duane Eddy brought the trademark sound, twang, into rock and roll. We can see this stylistic skill in the works of world renowned musicians such as the Beatles. Twang is a heavy sound created by putting guitar strums through specialized recording studio equipment. Eddy first invented the remarkable vibrations by picking at the low strings of his hollow body guitar. He then would turn up the trembling effect and feed this through an echo chamber. With help from his producer, Lee Hazlewood, Eddy was able to establish the twang as the frontier of rock and roll. His compositions were featured in theme songs for TV shows and movies in the sixties. Unfortunately, all of Eddy’s success came to an ending around 1963 when popular British bands started to take over, leaving no more room for their competitors.

Besides the celebrated musical talent that Duane Eddy brought into the world, he was definitely a sight for sore eyes. The American ladies didn’t even need to have a liking for  good music to watch Eddy perform. He had a typical rockabilly look with an innocence that made the ladies classify him under “boyfriend material”. His hair was chocolate brown and he wore it in a short style with his front bangs in a curl. His teeth were pearly white and his charming smile showed off his lovable dimples. Although it couldn’t be found anywhere but thrift stores nowadays, corduroy was big in the fifties and sixties and Duane Eddy wore it well. But he never left home without his trusty guitar strapped around his shoulder, ready for his music to echo through the world.

Duane eddy has also played with the avant-garde synthpop group know as “Art of Noise“.

As Always you can get Duane Eddy Music here or at Amazon.com

Twang Thang: Anthology

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2 Responses to “Duane Eddy, The Rock and Roll Twanger”
  1. Rave On says:

    Eddy was one of the greats!


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