How’s this for popular? In just one year, 1958, Duane Eddy not only released the staggeringly influential instrumental hits Movin’ N’ Groovin’, Ramrod, Rebel Rouser and Cannonball, but the following year NME voted him - get this - “World’s Number One Music Personality.” Guess they forgot about a certain hip-shaker who went into the army.
The twangy guitar of Duane Eddy (he even had an album called Have Twangy Guitar, Will Travel) set the world on fire, particularly in the UK where The Shadows were major devotees. And check out George Harrison’s growling notes in the verses of I Want To Hold Your Hand - that could easily have been Duane Eddy.
The ‘60s and ‘70s saw Eddy’s career lose steam, but in 1986 The Art Of Noise scored a smash with a remake of Duane’s 1959 hit, Peter Gunn - and, of course, they knew who to call to add the guitar.
Even though Eddy was the first rock ‘n’ roll guitarist to have his own signature model (a Guild DE-400 in 1960), he made most of his important recordings with a 1957 Gretsch 6120.
In 1997, however, Gretsch bestowed upon Eddy his own artist series, the 6120-DE, similar to the ‘57 that had served him so well, complete with DynaSonic pickups that approximated the bright, airy quality of the original single-coil DeArmonds.