Duane Eddy, Grammy-Winning ‘Rebel-Rouser’ Guitarist, Dies at 86

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Duane Eddy has died at age 86. The Grammy-winning guitarist was known for his influential style as well as hits such as “Rebel-‘Rouser” and “Peter Gunn.”

Eddy died Tuesday (April 30) of cancer in Franklin, Tenn., according to his wife, Deed Abbate. He is survived by his wife and four children.

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

Born in April 26, 1938, in Corning, N.Y., Eddy began playing guitar as a young child. He went on to become one of few artists in the past century to find national fame purely as an instrumentalist, notching 27 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 such as “Rebel-‘Rouser,” which peaked at No. 6 in 1958; “Forty Miles of Bad Road,” which peaked at No. 9 in 1959; and “Because They’re Young,” which peaked at No. 4 in 1960. He also had 10 albums chart on the Billboard 200.

He was the last surviving artist to chart in the top 10 of the inaugural Hot 100, which was published on Aug. 4, 1958. The other artists in the top 10 that week were Ricky Nelson, Perez Prado, Bobby Darin, Elvis Presley, Kalin Twins, The Coasters, Jack Scott, The Johnny Otis Show and Peggy Lee.

Eddy was also a Grammy-decorated musician, winning on his first-ever nomination in 1987 as a featured artist on The Art of Noise’s remake of “Peter Gunn” in the best rock instrumental performance category. In 1996, he earned a second Grammy nod as a featured artist on Doc Watson’s “Thunder Road/Sugarfoot Rag” for best country instrumental performance. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

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