Duane Eddy, the rock’n’roll guitarist who achieved solo stardom with a string of instrumental hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including Rebel Rouser and the theme to the TV series Peter Gunn, has died at the age of 86.

The Grammy-winning artist died of cancer surrounded by family at Williamson Health hospital near his home in Franklin, Tennessee, his wife Deed Abbate told the Associated Press. “Duane inspired a generation of guitarists the world over with his unmistakeable signature ‘Twang’ sound,” a representative said in a statement. “He was the first rock and roll guitar god, a truly humble and incredible human being. He will be sorely missed.”

With his distinctive sound of rhythm, hollers and hand claps, as well as a principle that the guitar’s lower strings sounded better on tape than its high ones, Eddy helped established a “twangy” rock’n’roll sound that inspired future internationally famous guitarists from George Harrison to Bruce Springsteen.

He notched 16 top 40 singles between 1958 and 1963 – near single-handedly cementing the position of the rock’n’roll guitar star.

“Instrumentalists don’t usually become famous. But Duane Eddy’s electric guitar was a voice all its own,” said Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, in a statement to Variety. “His sound was muscular and masculine, twangy and tough. Duane scored more than 30 hits on the pop charts. But more importantly, his style inspired thousands of hillbilly cats and downtown rockers – the Ventures, George Harrison, Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen, Marty Stuart, to name a few – to learn how to rumble and move people to their core. The Duane Eddy sound will forever be stitched into the fabric of country and rock & roll.”

Article:  The Guardian

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