|A 2 minute history of Donald “Duck” Dunn:“We were recording almost a hit a day for a while there. But I never knew how popular that music was until I came to England with Otis Redding in 1967.”
– Donald Dunn (about the Stax period)
As the bassist for Booker T. & the MG’s, Donald “Duck” Dunn became, like James Jamerson at Motown, the man who provided a groove for an entire generation to dance to. In Dunn’s case it was the legendary Memphis record label Stax/Volt, where he laid down basslines for soul stars such as Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Albert King, helping to create one of the largest bodies of soul and R&B music that exists.
~Steve Kurutz (allmusic.com)
Booker T & the MG’s – green onions:
|Birth name||Donald Dunn|
|Also known as||Duck|
|Born||November 24, 1941
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
|Died||May 13, 2012 (aged 70)
|Genres||Rock, soul, rhythm and blues|
|Occupations||Songwriter, producer, actor|
|Associated acts||Otis Redding, Booker T & the MG’s, Albert King, Mar-Keys,The Blues Brothers, Sam and Dave|
Donald “Duck” Dunn (November 24, 1941 – May 13, 2012) was an American bass guitarist, session musician, record producer, and songwriter. Dunn was notable for his 1960s recordings with Booker T. & the M.G.’s and as a session bassist for Stax Records, which specialized in blues and gospel-infused southern soul which became known as Memphis Soul. At Stax, Dunn played on thousands of records including hits by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, and many others. Dunn also performed on recordings with The Blues Brothers, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Isaac Hayes, Levon Helm, Neil Young, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Wilson Pickett, Guy Sebastian, Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Roy Buchanan, Steely Dan, Tinsley Ellis and Arthur Conley.
Booker T. & The MG’s – Time Is Tight (Live, 1970):
Dunn played himself in the 1980 feature The Blues Brothers, where he famously uttered the line, “We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline!”
- In 1992, Dunn was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Booker T & the MG’s.
- In 2007 Dunn and several Booker T & the MG’s members (Lewie Steinberg, Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, and Barbara Jackson, the widow of Al Jackson) were given a “Lifetime Achievement” Grammy award for their contributions to popular music.