by Robert Wilkinson
Tonight our dance features one of the true greats! Most guitarists would agree that Duane Eddy was one of the pioneers. Master of the "twangy guitar," he gave us some amazing tunes in the 50s and 60s and inspired 10,000 guitar pickers everywhere. Today we have some great videos and tunes!
Duane Eddy (April 26, 1938) paired up with producer/songwriter Lee Hazelwood in Arizona in the 50s, and the rest is history! His band, the Rebel Rousers, featured such major talents as Steve Douglas, Jim Horn, and keyboard player Larry Knechtel, and all would go on to work as part of Phil Spector's Wrecking Crew. According to AllMusic, "The singles - 'Peter Gunn,' 'Cannonball,' 'Shazam,' and 'Forty Miles of Bad Road' were probably the best - also did their part to help keep the raunchy spirit of rock & roll alive, during a time in which it was in danger of being watered down. Much of that raunch was not solely due to Eddy himself, but to the honking sax solos of Steve Douglas..." To that end, wait till you see and hear our closer today featuring both Duane and Steve live and cooking!
There's not too much footage of him performing live in the 50s, but I found a few oldies and quite a few newer ones! And given the era he was big, you can twist to just about all of these!
First, straight atcha from the Summer of 1958, here’s the tune that introduced the man to the world, so I’ve made it our Saturday Night Attitude Tune! Live on Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beech Nut Show, here’s Duane Eddy and the Rebel Rousers cranking out his Top 10 1958 mega-hit ”Rebel Rouser."
Also from Dick's Saturday Night Beech Nut Show, from the Spring of 1959, Duane cranking up "Forty Miles of Bad Road," and again from that same time period, a different clip of "Rebel Rouser." (The great Gil Bernal did the original studio sax on Rebel Rouser, while Steve Douglas gave us 40 Miles of Bad Road.)
From a 1988 PBS Buddy Holly Tribute show, Duane live performing “Rebel Rouser” and “Ramrod”
From who knows when, dancing with Duane and Jim Horn wailing in a great live performance of "Don't Be Cruel."
From 1996, Duane live on television performing the legendary country classic "Ghost Riders in the Sky."
I found several clips of Duane performing live at the 2009 NAAM show! We begin with his first hit, the infinitely danceable
From the same show, a great live performance by Duane of "Rebel Rouser."
We follow with Duane doing his 1959 Top Ten hit "Forty Miles of Bad Road."
Duane live in October 2010 at the Royal Festival Hall in London performing "Three-30 Blues."
From the Guitar Geek Festival 2010, here's Duane Eddy live doing "Movin' N' Groovin" & "Detour."
Here's 20 minutes of Duane Eddy performing Live at EMI.
Now some original studio versions of his tunes!
From November 1957, his first big one! "Moovin' N' Groovin'" (Yes, the intro was ripped off by Brian Wilson for "Surfin' USA" a few years later.)
From July 1958, the original studio version of his #6 major hit "Rebel Rouser."
Also from 1958, his Top 20 hit "Cannonball."
1958 hitsville! “The Lonely One”
Also from 1959, Duane's MONSTER #6 UK hit! (It was Top 30 in the US in 1960.) If you don't hear one other tune today, check this one out! It's a pure 2 1/2 minutes of major guitar and sax work!
Here's a great rare long UK version of his 1959 hit, "Some Kind A Earthquake." (This is the 1 min 58 sec UK version.)
From 1959, his Top Ten hit "Forty Miles of Bad Road"
From 1960, the string drenched hit Top 5 movie theme "Because They're Young."
From 1960 with Lee Hazelwood, the somewhat grim downer theme from the movie "Why Must I Die," "The Girl on Death Row."
Also from 1960, "Kommotion."
From 1962, Duane doing a cover of the great Link Wray breakthrough song that was banned many places as "promoting juvenile delinquency," "Rumble."
Also from 1962, his Top 15 hit "Dance With the Guitar Man."
1962's "Ballad of Paladin."
From 1963, Duane doing Bill Justis' breakthrough #2 hit "Raunchy." (Bill's version hit the charts in November 1957, and is considered the first rock and roll instrumental hit.)
Also from 1963, "Boss Guitar."
From 1965, Duane doing the Bill Doggett hit, "Honky Tonk."
From 1970, Duane doing "Freight Train."
Last year’s closer was an incredible medley by Duane and the awesome Steve Douglas on “Thicke of the Night” in 1984 performing “Peter Gunn Theme,” “40 Miles of Bad Road,” and “Rebel Rouser.” This year it’s vanished. So instead, here are two great performances to dance to!
First, kick it up with the great Carl Perkins live in Nashville in 1994, Duane playing lead for the Mavericks in Carl’s iconic rocker “Matchbox”
And for the finale, live on Letterman, here’s Duane in a final offering of our Saturday Night Attitude tune, “Rebel Rouser”
Mister Guitar Man, I heard you in the beginning via the extinct thing called the transistor radio, and knew I had experienced rock and roll in its rawest form. Thanks for all the tunes through the years, Duane, and may you rock on for many more!
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson