Donald “Duck” Dunn was one of the most-influential studio bassists of all time, making a name for himself through his work with Booker T. and the M.G.’s.
The world lost Dunn over the weekend, as the legend passed away Sunday at the age of 70. Dunn was on tour in Tokyo.
News of his death was posted on the Facebook page of his friend and fellow musician Steve Cropper, who was on the same tour. Cropper said Dunn died in his sleep.
“Today I lost my best friend, the World has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live,” Cropper wrote. ”Duck Dunn died in his sleep Sunday morning May 13 in Tokyo Japan after finishing 2 shows at the Blue Note Night Club.”
Born in Memphis, Tenn., in 1941, Dunn was given his nickname by his father as they watched Donald Duck cartoons.
Dunn met Cropper in high school, with the two forming their first band, The Royal Spades, which was heavily influenced by the likes of B.B. King and Ray Charles.
The Royal Spades eventually became the Mar-Kays, and the group scored a hit, “Last Night,” soon after graduation.
Cropper left to become a session musician at the historic Stax Records, and lured Dunn there to join the Stax house band, Booker T. and the M.G.’s.
Among the timeless recordings Dunn contributed to are “Respect,” “Dock Of The Bay” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett’s “In The Midnight Hour,” and “Hold On I’m Coming” by Sam and Dave, not to mention sessions with Neil Young, Eric Clapton and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Dunn also scored movie credits, as he and Cropper joined John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd as members of The Blues Brothers.
As a member of Booker T. and the M.G.’s (who would reunite periodically over the years), Dunn was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys in 2007.
For more information about Dunn, visit his official website.