Duane Eddy, $1,000,000 Worth of Twang

Lenny Kaye

By Lenny Kaye

on 08.09.11 in Reviews
Duane’s greatest hits

The first Jamie Records 45 was released in 1957, but it was guitar instrumentalist Duane Eddy who vaulted the label into national prominence in 1958 with “Movin’ and Groovin’” and “Rebel Rouser.” He would eventually garner 20 Top 100 hits before leaving in 1962. Label owner Harold Lipsius’s business partner, Harry Finfer, discovered Eddy, a Phoenix guitarist produced by Lee Hazlewood. Finfer’s habit was to play a record over and over to see if he tired of it. The strangeness of Eddy’s catchy, bottom-string melody – reverbed in a 2,000-gallon water tank complete with whoops and hollers – caught his ear, and with Dick Clark’s help (reputedly, he held a share in Jamie in those conflict-of-interest times) on Bandstand, created a formula that would be replicated on many albums, all centered on The Twang: Have Twangy Guitar, Will Travel; The Twang’s The Thang, and this particular assemblage, which features Duane’s greatest hits, including the 1960 movie theme “Because They’re Young” that balances Eddy’s baritone voicings against soaring, uplifting strings, its own raison d’etre.