1962 Duane Eddy – Dance With The Guitar Man
When he was only 16, Duane Eddy began playing in a group Jimmy and Duane called with Jimmy Delbridge. They played at a local radio station where they met disk jockey Lee Hazlewood. In 1955, Lee produced the single Soda Fountain Girl for the duo. No, it wasn’t a hit.
Duane figured out how to play bass notes on his guitar in a way that generated the twangy guitar sound we now associate with him. He even bought a 2,000-gallon water storage tank and used it as an echo chamber to make the twanging more pronounced.
Duane and Lee co-wrote the instrumental Movin’ n’ Groovin’, which reached #72 on the Hot 100 in early 1958. The opening riff for the song may well have influenced the Beach Boys when they recorded Surfin’ U.S.A., but the 1956 B-side of a single by Chuck Berry had a very similar opening as well.
The pair also wrote his next single, Rebel-‘Rouser, which Lee again produced. The single earned a gold record and peaked in the Hot 100 top ten in 1958.
More than a dozen top forty singles followed over the next four years. His last top twenty single, (Dance With The) Guitar Man, reached #12 on the Hot 100 in 1962. The record also reached #4 in the UK. The Blossoms provided the vocals on the record.
Duane’s follow-up single, Boss Guitar, stalled at #28 and he never reached the top forty with a solo record again. His distinctive guitar playing has shown up in hits by other artists, including Rock and Roll Lullaby by B. J. Thomas in 1972 and a remake of Peter Gunn by the Art of Noise in 1986.
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