Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bass player Donald “Duck” Dunn died early Sunday in his sleep at the age of 70. Dunn was in Tokyo at the time of his death performing a series on concerts. Dunn’s final shows were two appearances at the Tokyo Blue Note on Saturday night. Friend and fellow musician Steve Crooper broke the news via his Facebook page saying, “today I lost my best friend. The world has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live.”
Donald Dunn was born November 24, 1941 in Memphis, Tennessee. Dunn earned the nickname “Duck” from his father, who took the name from the cartoon character. Although he didn’t even learn to play bass until he was 16, by the age of 20, Dunn was a staple of the soul, gospel, and blues music scene in Memphis; it was in 1965 that Dunn joined, Al Jackson, and Booker T. Jones as a member of Booker T and the MGs – to form one of the first racially integrated bands. Later he was known as one of the most respected bass players in the music business.
Dun was best known for being a member of Booker T and the MGs and the Blues Brothers band. As a member of Booker T, Dunn was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, earned a Grammy Award in 1994 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance – “Cruisin” -, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy Awards in 2007.
Over the course of his career, Dunn appeared in “The Blues Brothers” movie and has played with, , , , The Staple Singers, Sam and Dave, , Stevie Nicks, , Otis Redding, , Tom Petty, , , , , Albert King, Herbie Mann, Duane Allman, Eddie Floyd, , Leon Russell, Joan Baez, Manhattan Transfer, The Emotions, Leo Sayer, Diana Ross, Jimmy Buffett, John Fogerty, Yvonne Elliman, Ray Charles, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Boz Scaggs, Johnnie Taylor, Mickey Thomas, Bill Withers, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, and Paul Shaffer.
Donald Dunn is survived by his wife June, son Jeff, and grandson Michael.