Twangy Guitar Superstar Who Sold Millions Of Records Has Passed Away

Duane Eddy, the legendary guitarist whose distinctive “twangy” sound defined an era of rock ‘n’ roll music, passed away on April 30 in Franklin, Tenn. He was 86.

Eddy’s representative confirmed his passing, stating, “Duane inspired a generation of guitarists the world over with his unmistakeable signature ‘Twang’ sound. He will be sorely missed.”

Eddy’s impact on music was profound, earning him the title of the “first rock and roll guitar god” and inspiring countless musicians across genres. Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, praised Eddy’s influence, stating, “His sound was muscular and masculine, twangy and tough.” He added, “The Duane Eddy sound will forever be stitched into the fabric of country and rock & roll.”

Born in Corning, N.Y., on April 26, 1938, Eddy began playing guitar at a young age and quickly developed a unique style influenced by pop innovator Les Paul and country musicians like Chet Atkins and Merle Travis. His breakthrough came with the release of his hit single “Rebel Rouser” in 1958, which established him as a guitar hero.

Eddy’s string of instrumental hits continued throughout the late ’50s and early ’60s, with tracks like “Cannonball,” “Forty Miles of Bad Road,” and the theme to the TV series “Peter Gunn.” Despite changes in musical trends, Eddy’s classic tracks remained popular and were featured in numerous films and TV shows over the years.

In addition to his chart-topping success, Eddy’s influence extended to a new generation of musicians, including George Harrison of The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen. His direct, tremolo-laden style left a lasting mark on the rock genre.

Despite facing challenges in his career, including shifts in musical tastes and personal setbacks, Eddy remained active in the music industry. He continued to perform and record music well into the new millennium, showcasing his enduring talent and dedication to his craft.

Eddy’s contributions to music were recognized with his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, cementing his legacy as one of the most influential guitarists of his time. His passing marks the end of an era but leaves behind a timeless legacy that will continue to inspire generations of musicians to come. Learn more about his death in the video below.

How has Duane Eddy’s music influenced your appreciation of rock ‘n’ roll?