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Duane Eddy
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One of the earliest guitar heroes, Duane Eddy put the twang in rock and roll. Twang is a reverberating, bass-heavy guitar sound boasted by primitive studio wizardry. Concocted by Eddy and producer Lee Hazlewood in 1957, twang came to represent the sound of revved-up hot rods and an echo of the Wild West on the frontier of rock and roll. Eddy obtained his trademark sound by picking on the low strings of a Chet Atkins-model Gretsch 6120 hollowbody guitar, turning up the tremolo and running the signal through an echo chamber. Behind the mighty sound of twang, Eddy became the most successful instrumentalist in rock history, charting fifteen Top Forty singles in the late Fifties and early Sixties. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. No less an authority than John Fogerty has declared, Duane Eddy was the front guy, the first rock and roll guitar god.

Duane Eddy's instrumental hits from the late '50s can unduly basic and repetitive, but he was vastly influential. Perhaps the most successful instrumental rocker of his time, he may have also been one of the most responsible for popularizing the electric rock guitar. His distinctively low, twangy riffs could be heard on no less than 15 Top Forty hits between 1958 and 1963. He was also one of the first rock stars to successfully crack the LP market.

The sound of Duane Eddy's guitar has reverberated through the decades. George Harrison and Paul McCartney were big fans of Eddy's and, he recorded with both of them in later years. Eddy was recruited to play on McCartney's Rockestra Theme in 1987, and Harrison played on Eddy's self-titled comeback album from 1987, which also featured James Burton, Ry Cooder, Steve Cropper (of Booker T. & the M.G..s), John Fogerty and David Lindley. Eddy's mid-Eighties comeback began some club dates in L.A. and brief West Coast tour with Ry Cooder in 1983. In 1986, the British avant-garde instrumental outfit Art of Noise recruited Eddy to perform on a remake of Peter Gunn, which became a Top Ten hit in Britain

Gretsch Guitars in Georgia has reissued the exact guitar that Duane had made to his specifications, the Duane Eddy Signature Model 6120 on which the twang had first been heard when Duane was starting out. Duane is regarded by many as the top rock-and-roll instrumentalist of all time. Duane Eddy took his place in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 1994. He still tours with oldies shows.
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