He died in his sleep yesterday in Tokyo after playing several dates that had been postponed after the 2011 Japanese earthquake. He was 70. Donald “Duck” Dunn’s name may not be familiar to you, but his music is. Stuart Dowdy was my best friend growing up in Oklahoma, and his favorite song was Green Onions by Booker T. and the MG’s, so every time I hear it I think of him. It’s a good memory.
Duck Dunn was also a part of The Blues Brothers Band and appeared in both of their movies. But Booker T. and The Blues Brothers are just the tip of the iceberg, expanding beyond classic recordings Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers, Sam and Dave, and Issac Hayes. He also recorded with artists you wouldn’t associate with the legendary bass player: Stevie nicks, Rod Stewart, Leon Russell, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, John Fogerty, Tom Petty, and even Jerry Lee Lewis. Here’s a classic clip with The Blues Brothers and a two minute video of who Duck Dunn was. It doesn’t begin to scratch the surface. I’m sure he’s showing Stuart the bass line for Green Onions right now.