I have been under the mistaken impression that Duane Eddy, the King of Twang, was no longer with us. I just learned today, courtesy of Premier Guitar, that Mr. Eddy is still with us, going strong and will celebrate his 80th birthday on April 26th.
In an interview in this month’s Premier Guitar, he describes tuning his guitar quickly when listening to the radio to learn country music songs. The songs were never quite in A440 because everything was tuned to whatever piano was around. The reason for his need to tune quickly to the radio? “We couldn’t afford to buy records.”
That’s a common theme from many of the legendary early stars of rock and roll. They made do with what they had at hand. Though hard work and talent, they shaped rock music with sounds and themes we hear to this day. Check out the video below to see the crowds Mr. Eddy was drawing as he helped start rock and roll. And please read the interview with him in Premier Guitar. Utterly fascinating.
Happy 80th, Duane Eddy!