Memorial planned in Corning for music legend Duane Eddy

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CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – The Duane Eddy Circle meets at the Southeast Steuben County Library to discuss the life and legacy of the influential guitarist. But, now these meetings take on a different meaning now that a memorial is in the works.

“I am very happy to say that I came from a town where Duane Eddy was,” said Former Classmate Sue Benedict.

Duane Eddy has influenced some of the most successful musicians of all time. Names like Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen have all found inspiration from Eddy’s music.

“His inspiration, that twangy sound cannot be compared to anybody else. He revolutionized Rock & Roll,” said Duane Eddy Circle member Frank Acomb.

He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame and is now set to have a memorial in the City of Corning.

“He’s a wonderful human being. He knew that we formed this committee before he passed. I had emailed him and he was very excited that we were gonna get something started to hopefully recognize him as much as we can because so many people know who he is or at least they hear his music and they know the music. A lot of people don’t know he was born in Corning,” said Acomb.

Duane Eddy, twangy guitar hero of early rock, dead at age 86

Members have been meeting for more than a month and hope the memorial is complete a year and a half from now.

“We’re looking at more of a let’s do it right instead of rush. and maybe it is something bigger than we originally planned. We’ve heard people say statues. Really, our goal has always been just something that’s here in Corning forever. Whether that’s a sign, whether that’s a plaque, whether that’s a stone. Something that people know, you know, Duane Eddy was born here. Duane Eddy always praised us and we’re praising Duane Eddy. We want people to know,” said Acomb.

June 7: Duane Eddy Day in Corning, “Rebel Rouser”

“You mentioned a statue, how wonderful that would be because he is one of the most famous people from Corning I think,” said Benedict.

Sue Benedict went to school with Eddy and remembers one of his earliest performances.

“We were at assembly and they got up and they said we have a young man in our school that’s going to sing and play guitar for us. His name is Duane Eddy and this little guy comes out, cuter than a button and he has this great big old guitar and he starts playing and singing. Well, I was smitten, I had to tell you. I was a groupie before the word was even in the dictionary,” said Benedict.

Eddy was always proud of his Corning roots.

“In this area, I always thought it was really impressive that he always from the beginning of his career said he was born in Corning, NY,” said Acomb.

His biggest hit, 1958’s ‘Rebel Rouser’ was famously used in Forrest Gump.

“When you think of Run Forrest Run, of course from Forrest Gump, you hear ‘Rebel rouser,’” said Acomb.

“I think they’re doing a wonderful job and if they succeed in doing what they’re planning to do it’ll be wonderful,” said Benedict.

For more information on the Duane Eddy Circle, click here.

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