Duane Eddy’s most prolific period was the 1960’s. However, Duane Eddy released a fair amount of music in the 1970’s and has continued to release music all the way into the 2010’s. Along the way outside of releasing his own albums, Duane Eddy worked on producing records for other artists and also celebrated an acting career appearing in five films during the decade of the 1960’s.
At the time of this writing in 2019, Duane Eddy had recently performed in the United Kingdom celebrating his 80th birthday in 2018.
Our Top 10 Duane Eddy songs list is a celebration of some of our favorite Duane Eddy songs. We hope you enjoy listening to these great tracks.
# 10 – Yep
We open our top 10 Duane Eddy songs list with the classic track “Yep.” There is no better way to start out a Duane Eddy songs list but with a track that opens up with that killer guitar sound. Some Duane Eddy songs featured more Eddy up front than others. This one is all about Duane Eddy. The great song “Yep.” was released in 1959. The song was written by written by Duane Eddy and Lee Hazlewood. “Yep.” was released on the Duane Eddy album Especially For You.
# 9 – Ramrod
Continuing with our top 10 Duane Eddy songs list we turn to the great track “Ramrod.” This was a killer guitar rocker that served as the inspiration for Bruce Springsteen’s “Ramrod,” that was released in 1980 on The River album. They are two different songs, but you can hear how much of an influence this one played on Springsteen’s tune. Duane Eddy’s “Ramrod,” was released in 1958. The song was issued on the ‘Have Twangy’ Guitar Will Travel album. “Ramrod,” was written by Al Casey.
# 8 – Because They’re Young
There were so many sides to Duane Eddy’s music. There were the all out guitar rock barn burners. There were the television show soundtrack type songs. Some of the tunes were dance oriented and then there were the ones that mixed it all up. Duane Eddy’s “Because They’re Young,” was one of the those songs that defined all those 1960s genres in one classic tune.“Because They’re Young,” was released in 1960. “Because They’re Young,”was issued on the album $1,000,000.00 Worth of Twang. The song was written by Aaron Schroeder, Don Costa, and Wally Gold.
# 7 – Dance With The Guitar Man
If there ever was a Duane Eddy dance tune, this was the one. Duane Eddy’s “Dance With The Guitar Man,” defined the sound of the early 1960’s. “Dance With The Guitar Man,” was released in 1962. It was issued on the album Dance With The Guitar Man. The song featured back up vocals by the American girl group The Blossoms.
# 6 – Gunsmoke
Gunsmoke was television’s longest running show. Duane Eddy’s guitar riffs drift in an out of this hanting presentation of mid 19th century television. Duane Eddy’s performance of the theme from Gunsmoke was released on the album Lonely Guitar. The album was issued in 1964 on RCA Records.
# 5 – Ghost Riders In The Sky
While many classic rock fans are well aware of the great song “Ghost Riders In The Sky,” from the Outlaws’ iconic 1970s version, most people do not realize that Duane Eddy cut a great version of “Ghost Riders In The Sky,” in 1996. Duane Eddy’s version was released on the album entitled Ghostrider. “Ghost Riders In The Sky,” is an old song written by Stan Jones in 1948. It almost feels wrong calling it a song as opposed to a musical theme which has become incredibly popular over the past seventy plus years.
“Ghost Riders In The Sky,” has been covered by so many artists including The Blues Brothers, The Outlaws, The Ventures, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, REM, The Tubes and countless others from the 1950’s until the 2010’s
# 4 – Forty Miles Of Bad Road
One of our favorite Duane Eddy Songs was released on the album with our favorite title. Duane Eddy’s “Forty Miles Of Bad Road,” was issued on the album, $1,000,000.00 Worth of Twang. The album was released in 1960. Before the song “Forty Miles Of Bad Road,” was released on the album, it was released as a single in 1959.
# 3 – Cannonball
The classic Duane Eddy song “Cannonball,” was released on the album ‘Have Twangy’ Guitar Will Travel. Duane Eddy’s debut album ‘Have Twangy’ Guitar Will Travel was loaded with tracks that would become legendary Duane Eddy songs. If there is one Duane Eddy album that you should own for your classic rock collection, it’s ‘Have Twangy’ Guitar Will Travel.
# 2 – Rebel Rouser
It was kind of though to choose which out of the next two songs would land in the number one spot on our top 10 Duane Eddy songs list. They are both incredible recordings that show off that trademark Duane Eddy twangy guitar sound at its finest. “Rebel Rouser,” was released on the classic Duane Eddy album Have Twangy’ Guitar Will Travel . The song would hit number six on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. It would become the second highest charting hit of his career.
# 1 – Peter Gunn
Everyone knows the “Peter Gunn Theme.” It’s one of those riffs that have become ingrained in pop culture over the past fifty years. Duane Eddy’s recording of “Peter Gunn,” is one of the best covers of the song ever released. The song was written by Henry Mancini. Peter Gunn was the theme song to the television show “Peter Gunn.” Duane Eddy’s cover charted both in the United Kingdom and the United States. Eddys’ guitar playing is brilliant in the piece.