Famed bass player for Booker T & The MGs, Donald “Duck” Dunn, has died at the age of 70, in his sleep while on a tour in Tokyo, Japan. Widely respected as one of the world’s greatest bass players, Dunn had received a lifetime achievement award Grammy for his musical abilities as well as songwriting skills. Dunn was also one of the all star musicians in THE BLUES BROTHERS movie and band as well.
Donald “Duck” Dunn joined Booker T & The MGs in 1965, where he and Steve Cropper on guitar were two white members of one of the finest R&B instrumentals acts of all time. For 1965, a racially integrated R&B act like this was considered to be groundbreaking. It also gave Dunn and Cropper reputations as two of the finest white soul musicians of the era as well. In the South, Dunn and Cropper were music legends in soul music, while white session guitarist, Dennis Coffee made news in Motown in the North as a sought after talent.
BTW, MG meant Memphis Group in the name of the act. There is a very nice boxed set of cds available of Booker T & The MGs, which presents a nice overview of the works of both Dunn and Cropper in the band. Dunn often played bass with his characteristic pipe in his mouth, something rather unique among musicians. Dunn’s name seemed a constant for years among the PLAYBOY Rock and Jazz musician polls, where readers had a chance to vote for top musicians for the PLAYBOY honors.
Thanks so much for the good tunes, Donald “Duck” Dunn. You made my life more rich with your music.