Saturday, March 3, 2012


Although he was actually born in Corning, NY in 1938, he and his family moved to AZ in 1951 and he has pretty much stayed here ever since. 

Still, I don't put Duane Eddy on my list of great Arizonans as a mere technicality of location.  The man has earned his "Son Of Arizona" spurs by crafting not only great music, but decades of awesome sounds that did the impossible: they captured the southwestern desert on 45 rpm vinyl records!  Let the man explain it himself:
His first single "Movin' And Groovin'" [1958], was famously described by a contemporary hack at Billboard Magazine as "stringing telephone wire across the Grand Canyon."  Whoever that early critic was, he somehow caught on completely, as Duane's music, while it is certainly Hall-Of-Fame Rock and Roll; undoubtedly Country; and always edged with Blues [his debut album has a cover of a B.B. King song approved of by the bluesmaster/author himself]; it is above all and supremely "Arizona Music," eternally full of dry timbre, echoing bass, and the exhilirating feeling of wide open spaces.

Check out this cool vid of Duane from his '50s heyday, twangin' up a storm of his top 30 hit "Shazam!"

And here is my all time fave Duane Eddy recording, "Theme For Something Really Important," written and produced for Duane's attempted 1987 comeback album by Jeff Lynne of ELO fame.  THIS is the one to play full blast on your next desert road trip:

Ths first of my Centennial [1912-2012] Tributes to great men and women of AZ is dedicated to my brother Steve, possibly the world's biggest Duane Eddy fan and a great Arizonan in his own right!  Rock On, Steve-O. 


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