Photo Credit: Rolling Stone Magazine
The following article is from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee page. He was inducted in 1994. See the original article here: https://www.rockhall.com/inductees/duane-eddy
According to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, He is “One of the earliest guitar heroes” and “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.” Eddy’s influence is widespread in rock and roll. A twangy guitar drove Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” and twang echoes in the work of the Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Dave Edmunds, Chris Isaak and many more.
Eddy was born in Corning, New York, in 1938. While in his early teens he moved with his family to Phoenix, where a demo tape found its way to the hands of Hazlewood, then a local disk jockey. Together, they hit upon a magic formula centered upon Eddy’s unique playing style, which involved picking single-note melodies on the low strings. Eddy took pains to compose strong, dramatic melodies and to vary his style. Elements of country, jazz and gospel found its way into his instrumentals, which bore evocative titles like “Cannonball,” “Rebel Rouser” and “Forty Miles of Bad Road.” On record, he was backed by such esteemed session musicians as saxophonist Steve Douglas and keyboardist Larry Knectel. The Sharps provided background vocals and rebel yells.
Eddy’s album titles typically punned on the word twang: The “Twangs” the “Thang” (1960), Twistin’ and Twangin’ (1962), “Twangin’” Up a Storm! (1963). His first album, Have ‘Twangy’ Guitar – Will Travel, was a bonafide rock and roll milestone. It charted for 82 weeks, launched five instrumental hits, and was one of the first rock and roll albums released in stereo. In 1999, it was reissued on CD in a 40th anniversary addition with extra tracks.
In the early Sixties, Eddy had much success providing theme songs for movies (“Because They’re Young,” “Pepe”) and TV shows (“Peter Gun,” “The Ballad of Palladin”). He also demonstrated his breadth by recording material in a more countrified vein (“Twang” a Country Song), cutting an album of surf music (Surfin’ With Duane Eddy) and even covering Bob Dylan’s songs in an instrumental vein (Duane Eddy Does Bob Dylan). Still, the hit streak ended abruptly in 1963, as Eddy became another casualty of the Beatles and the British Invasion bands.
While the glory years of 1958 to 1963 are long gone, the sound of Duane Eddy’s guitar has reverberated through the decades. Ironically, 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 (and just missed the U.S. Top Forty).”
Inductee: Duane Eddy (guitar; born April 26, 1938)”Source: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
STARS OF SUN ROCKABILLY SHOW in The Arena Carl Mann, Narvel Felts, Hayden Thompson, Alton & Jimmy, Johnny Powers, Rudy Grayzell, WS Holland, Jimmy Van Eaton.
Sonny Burgess was booked to be part of this show but we are sorry to say he passed away last weekend. He will be missed and we will never forget his performances. Thank you Sonny for some of the greatest rockabilly ever recorded.
The Eldorados, Roddy Jackson, Mike Waggoner, Norman Fox & The Robroys
HOT BOOGIE CHILLUN Exclusive Show!!!!
Robert Gordon, Big Sandy & The Flyrite Boys, The Delta Bombers, The Rhythm Shakers,
FROM THE UK – Paul Ansell’s No. 9, Carlos & The Bandidos, Sonny West, Phil Haley & The Comments, Jackson Sloane & The Rhythm Tones, The Black Kat Boppers, AJ Wade & The Tennessee Three, The Sureshots, Craig Shaw, The Danny McVey Trio, The Neutronz, Lady Luck Lexy & The Riverside Boys, Miss Mary & The Mr Rights.
FROM INDONESIA – The Hydrant
FROM FRANCE – Jake Calypso and his Red Hot, Barny & The Rhythm All Stars
FROM GERMANY – Marc Valentine, The Booze Bombs
FROM MEXICO – Nicotyna
FROM AUSTRALIA – Cherry Divine
FROM SPAIN – Matt & The Peabody Ducks, The Kabooms
FROM CANADA – The Greasemarks, The Millwinders,
FROM RUSSIA – Nadine & The Lovers
FROM SWEDEN – Lily Locksmith
FROM CHILE – Richie & The Richmen
And even more from the USA: (in no particular order) Archie Lee Hooker, The Centuries, The Starjays, The Outlaw Daddies, Justin Curtis, Pachuco Jose Y Los Diamantes, Phat Cat Swinger, Jimmy Dale & The Beltline, Lil Mo & The Dynaflos, Michael Hurtt’s Haunted Hearts, The Rayford Brothers, Shanda & The Howlers, The Hi-Q’s, Ambur Rockwell, Rockin Rick & The Rhythm Wranglers, Little Lesley & The Bloodshots, Rod & The Tone Masters, Rumble King, Ted Stevens & The Doo-Shots, The Twilight Drifters, Amy Griffin, Mack Stevens, Rip Masters, The Frantic Rockers, The Margraves, Shaun Young and The 3 Ringers, Lil Mo & The Unholy Four, The Stardust Ramblers, The Hot Shot Drifters, Jesse & The Rock’nRoll Three, The Red Arrows.
BANDS - Big Sandy & The Rhythm Busters, Omar Romero, Luis & The Wildfires, Gizzelle, Eddie Clendening, Eddie & The Scorpions, Stomping Riff Raffs – Japan, The Delta Bombers – (Special guest), The Rhythm Shakers – (Special guest), Terrorsaurs – UK, Bebo & The Goodtime Boys, Texas Steve, Dustin Chance & The Allnighters, Los Killer Tones – Mexico, The Hi-boys – Australia, Savage Breed, The Shadowmen, Stephanie, The Desperados, Pachuco Jose, Josh Hi-Fi & The Rhythm Kings, TJ Mayes, The Nighttimes, Will & The Hi-Rollers, The Devil Winds, Mary Simich, Los Blancos, Roy Dee & The Spitfires – Portugal, The Downbeats, Lil’ Sal & The Wildtones – Holland, The Deadly Spirits, Sonny West – UK, Elvis Cantu, Mozzy Dee, Jerry Cochran and the Salt Flat Trio, Alex Vargas.
DJ’s - Jive Bomber – Texas, Jimmy Guntrip – UK, Old Rebel 82 – Germany, Hi-Tone – LA. Juke Joint Jenni – OK, Chuy – LA, Nova – LA, Greg Belson – LA, Bebo – LA
Is the VLV Pool Party one of the highlights of the weekend for you? Do you enter the swimsuit competition every year or look forward to the competition as the big finale of your weekend? Well, not only are we expanding the pool area by AT LEAST 50%, we’re also adding MORE BARS, MORE FOOD and going until 10 PM each night!
So get your poolside wardrobes, pool accessories, coozies and noodles ready!All photos by Charles Cojnacki
YOU ASKED AND WE DELIVERED: Two of the largest shows at VLV21 will take place in The Orleans Arena so that you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to get tickets!
The STARS OF SUN ROCKABILLY SHOW and THE BURLESQUE SHOWCASE will be held in the Arena on Friday night. You will not need to get advance tickets at the crack of dawn after a night of serious partying. Your Hi Roller wristband will get you in and there is plenty of room!Burlesque Showcase Friday Night. Dita Von Teese opened and closed the shows!
Jerry Lee Lewis was born on September 29th, 1935, in Ferriday, Louisiana. He began playing the piano at age 9, copying the styles of preachers and black musicians that traveled through the area. He signed with Sun Records in 1956 and quickly became a star. He was the first person inducted into the first class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
With his innovative and flamboyant piano playing style, Jerry Lee Lewis emerged as one of rock music’s early showman in the 1950s. His musical talents became apparent early on in life. He taught himself to play piano and sang in church growing up. Lewis listened to such radio shows as the Grand Ole Opry and Louisiana Hayride. Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams and Al Jolson were some of his early influences.
When he was 10, Lewis’ father mortgaged the family farm to buy Jerry Lee his first piano. He gave his first public performance at the age of 14, wowing the crowd gathered for the opening of a local car dealership with his piano prowess. With little formal education, he basically gave up on school around this time to focus on his music.
Lewis eventually ended up in Memphis, Tennessee, where he found work as a studio musician for Sun Studios. In 1956, he recorded his first single, a cover of Ray Price’s “Crazy Arms,” which did well locally. Lewis also worked on some recording sessions with Carl Perkins. While working at Sun, he and Perkins jammed with Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. This session by the “Million Dollar Quartet” was recorded at the time, but it was not released until much later.
In 1957, Lewis became a star with his unique piano-driven sound. “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” became a hit on the pop, country and R&B charts. By this time, Lewis had also developed some of his famous stage antics, such as playing standing up and even lighting the occasional piano on fire. He had such energy and enthusiasm in his performances that he earned the nickname “The Killer” for the way he knocked out his audiences.
Lewis was on a roll with his next single, “Great Balls of Fire,” proving to be another big hit in December 1957. The following March, Lewis struck again with “Breathless,” which made into the Top 10 of the pop charts.
In the 1960s, Lewis returned to the music of his youth. He found a new career as a country artist, scoring a hit with 1968’s “Another Place, Another Time.” Lewis recorded several country albums over the next few years, including 1970’s Olde Tyme Country Music and 1975’s Boogie Woogie Country Man.
When he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s first class in 1986, there was a strong resurgence in his rock & roll career and music. A new generation of listeners got introduced to Lewis through the 1989 biopic “Great Balls of Fire”, when Lewis was played by actor Dennis Quaid.
This nearly lifelong musician and singer continues to record new music and perform around the world. For 2006’s “Last Man Standing”, Lewis sang a number of rock, blues and country classics with some help from such famous admirers as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Buddy Guy. Collaborator Kristofferson described Lewis as “one of the few who can do rock ‘n’ roll, country or soul, and every song is authentic.” He told USA Today that Lewis is “one of the best American voices ever.”
In April of 2013 Lewis opened Jerry Lee Lewis’ Café & Honky Tonk on historic Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. It is filled with one of the Killer’s pianos, a motorcycle, photos, and memorabilia, along with great food and live music. In October of 2014 The Killer released his first ever biography with Pulitzer Prize winning author Rick Bragg. “Jerry Lee Lewis – His Own Story” came out to critical acclaim.
As he looks back on six decades of music and what the future holds, Lewis says he’s grateful. “I just think it’s a blessing from God that I’m still living… and I’m still rocking.”
Lewis spends most of his time-off at his “Lewis Ranch” in Nesbit, Mississippi, where he is happily married to his wife Judith, since March 9th, 2012.