Iconic Guitarist Duane Eddy Passes Away at 86

Renowned for pioneering the pop music landscape of the 1950s with his signature ‘twang’ style of guitar playing, Duane Eddy passed away at the age of 86 in Franklin, Tennessee. His influence transcended his era, with hits like ‘Rebel Rouser’ and ‘Forty Miles of Bad Road’ still cherished by music enthusiasts worldwide.

Eddy’s musical journey began with self-study, crafting his unique rhythmic melodies by playing lead lines on his guitar’s bass strings and freely utilizing the vibrato arm. This approach defined his sound and established him as one of the most influential guitarists of his time.

The collaboration between Eddy and producer Lee Hazlewood resulted in a series of albums prominently featuring the word ‘twang’ in the title, a nod to Eddy’s distinctive tone. Produced often with members of the famed Wrecking Crew, these albums contained some of his most memorable recordings, cementing his status as a rock ‘n’ roll icon.

Born in 1938 in Corning, New York, Eddy began playing guitar at a young age. His talent led him to Tucson, Arizona, at the age of 13, where he crossed paths with Hazlewood, initiating their fruitful collaboration. Later, at the age of 16, he acquired his first custom Chet Atkins-model Gretsch guitar, marking the start of his legendary solo career.

In addition to his solo work, Eddy was part of Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars and collaborated with other major figures in the music industry, including Bob Dylan. His contributions to music were recognized with numerous accolades, including his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2008.

Eddy is survived by his wife, three children, a sister, and multiple grandchildren.

Photo (c) Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0

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