Duane Eddy, Guitar God, Dies @ 86

May 1, 2024

Duane Eddy, the wildly influential rock guitarist who made a '50s TV theme song into an iconic hit recognizable to listeners nearly 70 years later, died April 30, 2024, at 86.

One of the greats (Image via Jamie)

Eddy, whose "Peter Gunn" was a twangy smash in 1960 and again, with Art of Noise, in 1986, succumbed to cancer. His third wife, Deed, confirmed his passing.

Eddy was born April 26, 1938, in Corning, New York. He was a musician from his teen years, forming the duo Jimmy and Duane with Jimmy Dellbridge aka Jimmy Dell (b. 1937).

Produced by DJ Lee Hazlewood, Eddy — soon a solo act — went on to become one of the most successful instrumentalists of all time.

Eddy hit the U.S Top 40 His Top 40 with "Rebel-'Rouser" (1958), "Ramrod" (1958), "Cannonball" (1958), "The Lonely One" (1959), "Yep!" (1959), "Forty Miles of Bad Road" (1959), "Some Kind-a Earthquake" (1959), "Bonnie Came Back" (1960), "Because They're Young" (1960), "Peter Gunn" (1960)," "Pepe" (1961), "Theme from Dixie" (1961), "Moanin' 'n' Twistin'" (1962), "The Ballad of Paladin" (1962), "(Dance with the) Guitar Man" (1962), and "Boss Guitar" (1963).

"Peter Gunn" — a cover of the Henry Mancini (1924-1994) theme song from a drama series of the same name — became Eddy's signature tune, one that showed off his status as a guitar virtuoso and his twangy style, a style said to have influenced nearly ever guitar great who followed.

The song enjoyed a renewed success via a 1986 duet with the British avant-garde group Art of Noise. It hit #50 in the U.S., but was a Top 10 hit in the U.K., where his singles had always performed remarkably better than in his home country.

In the '60s, Eddy tried his hand at acting, appearing in the films A Thunder of Drums (1961), The Wild Westerners (1962), The Savage Seven (1968), Kona Coast (1968) and Sing a Country Song (1973). He also acted on the cowboy series Have Gun - Will Travel (1961 & 1962).

Eddy is survived by his wife, his three children, his five grandchildren and his nine great-grandchildren.

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