Eddie Drennon

Eddie Drennon Biography

Eddie Drennon (born Edward Allen Drennen in Newark, NJ)
Variants: Eddie Drennan, Eddie Drennen, Eddy Drennon, Edward Drennan and Edward Drennon

Composer of:

Featured violinist with:
BO DIDDLEY (1960-68)

Studied violin with Louia Vaughn Jones and music composition with Mark Fax at the Howard University School of Music (1959-63); he previously studied violin with Samuel Applebaum and Ugo Carano; studied music theory and composition with Rocco Pesile and Achilles D’Amico while attending Arts High School, Newark, NJ (1954-58).

Eddie is presently a member of the Umoja String Quartet and serves on the faculty at the George Washington University and Levine School of Music.

During his career which began in 1955, Eddie toured extensively performing in West Africa, North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. In addition to Bo Diddley, Orquesta Novel and Charanga America, he worked as a freelance violinist (nightclub, studio, symphonic, television and theatre) with various groups and artists (including Lou Perez, Johnny Pacheco, Ray Barretto, Orquesta Broadway, Charanga 76, Charanga America, the Fania All Stars, Tipica Ideal, the Urban Philharmonic, Ike & Tina Turner, Buster Williams, Smokey Robinson).

Eddie composed the music for the 1997 Helen Hayes award winning musical, TORN FROM THE HEADLINES and scored a scene for the Clint Eastwood movie IN THE LINE OF FIRE. Throughout the 1970s he composed, arranged and produced hits for Marti, TR, Casablanca and Bullseye records, including LET’S DO THE LATIN HUSTLE (Eddie Drennon& BBS Unlimited), GET DOWN DO THE LATIN HUSTLE (Eddie Drennon & BBS Unlimited), DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO (Eddie Drennon& BBS Unlimited), LAST NIGHT CHANGED IT ALL (Esther Williams), which have been sampled by contemporary artists (such as the Avalanches, Shaggy, Jamiroquai, Tupac Shakur, Biz Markie, Grandmaster Flash …). Orquesta Novel recorded several Eddie Drennon tunes including SALSA BOOGIE, WITH A TOUCH OF BRASS and DANCE, DANCE, DANCE.

At the dawn of the 21st century, Eddie Drennon compositions provided the foundation for several songs. SINCE I LEFT YOU - by the Avalanches - contains a sample from LET’S DO THE LATIN HUSTLE. FREAKY GIRL - by Shaggy - contains a sample from GET DOWN DO THE LATIN HUSTLE.

Three versions of DISCO JAM, composed by Eddie during his Casablanca years (1976-79), are currently (2009) enjoying a revival.

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