Belfast Telegraph

Bass player Donald 'Duck' Dunn dies

Donald "Duck" Dunn - who helped create the gritty Memphis soul sound at Stax Records in the 1960s - has died at the age of 70.

The bassist played with legendary group Booker T And The MGs and contributed to soul classics such as In the Midnight Hour, Hold On I'm Coming and Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay.

Dunn, whose legacy as one of the most respected session musicians in the business also included work with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd's Blues Brothers as well as with Levon Helm, Eric Clapton, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, died while on tour in Tokyo, Japan.

News of his death was posted on the Facebook site of his friend and fellow musician Steve Cropper, who was on the same tour. "Today I lost my best friend, the World has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live," Cropper wrote on Twitter.

Dunn was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1941, and according to the biography on his official website, was nicknamed after the cartoon character by his father, who did not want him to be a musician.

"He thought I would become a drug addict and die. Most parents in those days thought music was a pastime, something you did as a hobby, not a profession," Dunn said.

But by the time Dunn was in high school, he was in a band with Cropper.

Cropper left to become a session player at Stax. Dunn soon followed and joined the Stax house band, also known as Booker T And The MGs.

"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 said.

Dunn received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2007. He is survived by his wife, June, son Jeff and grandson Michael.

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