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Donald “Duck” Dunn Dies: Twitter Mourns Legendary Bassist

Music icon helped create soulful '60s sound

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Legendary bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn died in his sleep on Sunday while on tour in Tokyo. He was 70 years old.

Dunn played with a slew of musical icons, including Levon Helm–who also passed away this year–Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan. He grew up in a time when music was looked upon as a hobby, not an upstanding profession, and went against his father’s wishes to join a band. He ended up becoming a session player for Stax, a Memphis record company that boasted such big names of the day as Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett; that house band eventually became known as Booker T and the MG’s. They were one of the first racially diverse music groups and went on to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. At Stax, Dunn worked with Otis Redding on “Respect” and “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay”, two huge hits for the company which cemented his status as a key player in the industry. They saw enormous potential for the band and kept them working as long as they could.

“I would have liked to have been on the road more, but the record company wanted us in the studio. Man, we were recording almost a hit a day for a while there,” Dunn once said.

One of Dunn’s bandmates, Steve Cropper, was on tour with him and announced the death of his friend on Facebook and Twitter:

Today I lost my best friend, the World has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live. Duck Dunn died in his (cont) http://t.co/V38FzQBm(image) 1 day ago via TwitLonger Beta ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Friends and fans offered their condolences.

RIP Donald “Duck” Dunn, bassist with Booker T & MG’s and many hits… The rhythm section in the hereafter is getting better by the day.(image) 1 day ago via HootSuite ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Rest in Peace Donald “Duck” Dunn. Superb bass player, wonderful guy. My condolences to your family and friends.(image) 1 day ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Duck Dunn was as good as any bass player I can think of. So sad that he’s gone.(image) 1 day ago via Echofon ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

A legend has left us. RIP Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn, Bassist in Booker T. and the MGs, Blues Brothers Band Dies http://t.co/WbITRXZM(image) 24 minutes ago via Tweet Button ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Donald “Duck” Dunn Dies: Twitter Mourns Legendary Bassist
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  • Alan C Rohner

    Thank you Mr.Dunn for all your comtributions to music.
    Blues Brothers 2000 was where I first saw(heard) you.
    Thank you very much.