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May 13, 2012 / jhsaeger

Donald “Duck” Dunn” 1941-2012

Dunn with Tom Petty
and Benmont Tench III, May 2, 2012.
I would find it impossible to believe that someone had only not heard but also loved and danced to dozens of songs that Donald “Duck” Dunn played on, even if they didn’t realize that he was the one wielding the bass, deftly adding rhythm and groove to a song. One of the true greats of rock and roll, Dunn passed away in Tokyo last night at the age of 71 while touring with cohort Steve Cropper.
Dunn, one of the cornerstones of Stax/Volt Records, played on recordings by Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, and was a member of Booker T. & the MG’s. At the time Stax and Motown ruled the music charts, and Dunn was a huge part of that success. As Stax’s golden era wound down, Dunn also logged an extensive discography by playing on some of the great albums of the 1970’s and 1980’s, lending his bass to the likes of Eric Clapton, Stevie Nicks, Levon Helm, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, Leon Russell, Ike and Tina Turner, Free, Neil Young, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Joan Baez to name just a few. Dunn was also a member of the Blues Brothers house band, appearing in both films.
Music would not be the same without him. 

“Because he’s just so damn good.” – Tom Petty when asked why he brought in Dunn to record “Woman In Love (It’s Not Me),” Conversations With Tom Petty, Paul Zollo


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