Legendary Guitarist Duane Eddy, Pioneer of the 'Twang' Sound, Dies at 86

Legendary Guitarist Duane Eddy, Pioneer of the ‘Twang’ Sound, Dies at 86

Duane Eddy, a guitar legend known for his influential rock ‘n’ roll sound, has passed away at 86. His wife, Deed Abbate, confirmed that Eddy died of cancer at Williamson Health hospital in Franklin, Tennessee.

Eddy’s distinctive sound, characterized by reverberating electric guitar and raucous rhythms, made him a standout in the music industry. He sold over 100 million records worldwide, mastering a unique style that prioritized the bass strings of the guitar for their rich tape sound.

Legendary Guitarist Duane Eddy, Pioneer of the 'Twang' Sound, Dies at 86

In a 1986 interview, Eddy humbly described his approach, stating, “I had a distinctive sound that people could recognize and I stuck pretty much with that. I’m not one of the best technical players by any means; I just sell the best.”

Known for hits like “Rebel Rouser” and “Peter Gunn,” Eddy’s impact extended beyond his own recordings. Artists like George Harrison and Bruce Springsteen cited him as a major influence. His career spanned several decades, from his first album, “Have Twangy Guitar Will Travel,” to his 1993 box set, “Twang Thang: The Duane Eddy Anthology.”

Eddy’s contribution to music was recognized when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He collaborated with producer Lee Hazlewood in the 1950s, helping to create the distinctive “Twang” sound that would become his trademark. Hazlewood later applied this sound to Nancy Sinatra’s hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin.’”

Despite commercial success in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Eddy chose to slow down after 1970, focusing on easy listening hits and living off his royalties. He recorded over 50 albums throughout his career, solidifying his place as a guitar icon whose influence will resonate for years to come.

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