Rebel Rousin’ Rock Guitarist Duane Eddy Dies — Aged 86

when did Duane eddy die
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when did Duane eddy die
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Photo Credit: Raph_PH / CC by 2.0

Rock ‘n’ roll guitarist Duane Eddy died on April 30, surrounded by his family in Franklin, Tennessee. The ‘king of twang’ was 86.

The Grammy-winning guitarist was born in Corning, New York in 1938 and began playing the guitar at a young age. Eddy was a self-taught guitarist, bringing a distinctive sound with his playing that inspired later artists from The Beatles to Blondie. During a career that spanned more than seven decades, he sold more than 100 million records.

Eddy had a run of instrumental hits in the ‘50s and ‘60s, though he once again hit the charts in 1986 with a remake of his song, “Peter Gunn.” The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him in 1994, while the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum inducted him in 2008.

“Duane inspired a generation of guitarists the world over with his unmistakable signature ‘twang’ sound,” Eddy’s representative told Variety. “He was the first rock and roll guitar god, a truly humble and incredible human being. He will be sorely missed.”

Eddy acknowledged his role in shaping the rock ‘n’ roll genre, telling the BBC in 2011, “When people come right out—like Bruce Springsteen or John Fogerty—and say: ‘Duane was a big influence,’ that’s just one of the perks and rewards of what I did. That’s worth more to me than money and the fame. That goes right to the heart.”

Aside from his influence on the genre, Eddy’s music was also used in movies including “Natural Born Killers” (1994), “Forrest Gump” (1994), and “Broken Arrow” (1996). Eddy was known for playing guitars made by the brand Gretsch, who also honored the legendary guitarist with a statement on social media.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Duane Eddy. As a legendary guitarist, he inspired generations with his pioneering twangy sound and musical innovations,” Gretsch said in its tribute. “His sound will forever echo in the halls of rock ‘n’ roll history.”