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Donald "Duck" Dunn R.I.P.

DONALD “DUCK’ DUNN, 70, the bassist whose playing was featured on dozens of hit records and helped define the sound of Memphis soul music, died early Sunday in his sleep while in Tokyo. Along with guitarist Steve Cropper, a fellow member of the instrumental quartet Booker T and the MGs, Dunn was resident bassist at the famed famed Stax studios, providing the foundation for classic soul records like Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour,” Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Coming,” Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign” and the hits by Otis Redding, with whom he and other Stax studio musicians also performed at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967. Dunn, Cropper, drummer Al Jackson and keyboardist Booker T. Jones also had hit singles on their own as a rare integrated group, including “Hip Hug-Her” and “Time is Tight.” Dunn was previously a member of the Mar-Keys, who had a #3 hit of their own in 1961 in “Last Night.” Dunn performed or recorded with Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Levon Helm, John Fogerty and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. One of his most high-profile sideman jobs was with the band that backed John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as the Blues Brothers, appearing in the 1980 movie and its 1998 sequel. Along with Booker T. and the MGs, Dunn was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2007.  The Memphis native Dunn acquired his nickname as a child. Survivors include his wife June, his son Jeff and a grandson. (5/14a)


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