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MIXTAPE MONDAY: Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn, The Backbone of Memphis Soul
May 14, 2012
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Donald "Duck" Dunn, the legendary bassist of Booker T. and the MG's, passed away Sunday morning while on tour in Tokyo. Dunn was 70. Tributes have started to pour in from many including the Rolling Stones, Slash, Tom Petty, Bill Wyman and Booker T. Jones.

"Today I lost my best friend, the World has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live," Booker T. guitarist Steve Cropper said on his Facebook page. "Duck Dunn died in his sleep Sunday morning May 13 in Tokyo Japan after finishing 2 shows at the Blue Note Night Club."

Tom Petty and Rolling Stones both responded on Facebook, Petty stating that their friend "will be dearly missed" and Stones commending his musicianship, saying that he was an "inspirational and incredibly gifted bass player."

Former Stones bassist Bill Wyman was a close friend of Dunn, had a message on his website: "Bill says he was saddened to hear of his friend's passing, and Bill and Donald both were in touch daily. Bill has known Donald since the 1970s, and had been emailing Donald the day before his death."

Slash took to Twitter to respond:

And Booker T. Jones posted a heartfelt message on his website: "God is calling names in the music world. He gave us these treasures and now he is taking them back. Duck was too close to me for me to at this point realize the full implications of his passing."

Dunn joined Booker T. and the MG's in 1965 to replace Lewie Steinberg, the original bassist. The group was Stax Records' in-house band, and Dunn played bass on hundreds of albums for artists including Otis Redding, Bill Withers, Sam & Dave, The Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes and Wilson Pickett.

After Booker T. & the MG's disbanded in 1971, Dunn worked as a session musician on records by Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Levon Helm, Tom Petty, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters, Peter Frampton, Rod Stewart and Robert Palmer, among others. In 1978, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi and Paul Shaffer invited Dunn and Cropper to play in the Blues Brothers band. Dunn appeared in the 1980 cult film playing bass and smoking a pipe.

In 1992, Booker T & The MG's were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the group received a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in 2007.

This week's mixtape is dedicated to Duck's pioneering bass-lines. Here's a selection of his finest work.

Blues Brothers "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love"

The Mar-Keys "Last Night"

Booker T & The MGs "Green Onions"

Booker T & The MG's "Medley: Sun King Et Al"

Albert King "Born Under A Bad Sign"

Otis Redding "Sittin' On The Dock Of A Bay"

Sam & Dave "Soul Man"

Wilson Pickett "In The Midnight Hour"

Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"

Otis Redding "Try A Little Tenderness"


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