Rock and Roll Icon Duane Eddy Dead at 86

Rock and Roll Icon Duane Eddy Dead at 86 | Society Of Rock Videos

via Tiger Rogers / YouTube

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and groundbreaking guitarist Duane Eddy has passed away at the age of 86. According to an announcement from the Arizona Republic, Eddy died peacefully on April 30, surrounded by family members in Franklin, Tennessee. He leaves behind a legacy shaped by his distinctive twangy guitar sound and a list of hits that marked significant milestones in the rock and roll genre.

The Rise of Duane Eddy and the Birth of “Rebel-Rouser”

Born in Corning, New York, in 1938, Eddy moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in the mid-1950s. By age 5, he was already exploring the guitar, and by the late ’50s, his collaboration with producer Lee Hazlewood had begun to bear fruit. It was in 1958 that Eddy made his definitive mark with the hit single “Rebel-Rouser,” which climbed to No. 6 on the charts and became emblematic of his sound— one that would earn its place in the annals of rock history.

“Rebel-Rouser,” in addition to being a top charting hit, holds a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of the key songs that sculpted the course of music history. Eddy’s partnership with Hazlewood kicked off with their first record in 1955 under the moniker Jimmy & Duane, and their success continued to grow with multiple other chart-topping hits throughout the late ’50s and ’60s.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Guitar Picture (@guitar_.picture)

Duane Eddy Lasting Legacy

Among Eddy’s many successes was his 1960 hit “Because They’re Young,” which achieved the No. 4 spot and featured in the movie of the same name, starring alongside icons like Dick Clark and Tuesday Weld. By the end of the 1950s, Eddy was a fixture in the Top 40 charts, having consistently produced music that resonated with a wide audience.

Eddy continued to influence the music scene into the 1980s. His collaboration with the Art of Noise on a new version of the Peter Gunn theme won him a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental in 1986. But his impact wasn’t limited to his earlier years. In 1987, Eddy released a self-titled album with the Rebels, featuring guest appearances by illustrious artists he had influenced, including George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ry Cooder, and Steve Cropper.

Beyond his music, Eddy also ventured into acting, appearing in films such as “A Thunder of Drums” and “The Wild Westerners.” His renown as an instrumentalist was profoundly connected to his 1956 red Gretsch 6120 guitar, which helped him cement his status as rock and roll’s premier instrumentalist.

Don’t Miss Out! Sign up for the Latest Updates

Premium Partners

Society of Rock partner World War Wings
Society of Rock partner Daily Rock Box
Society of Rock partner Country Music Nation
Society of Rock partner Country Rebel
Society of Rock partner I Love Classic Rock
Society of Rock partner Rock Pasta

Interested in becoming a partner?

Contact us for more info.