Runaway Dinosaur

For the love of the music…..

Happy 67th Birthday Donald “Duck” Dunn

Posted by jhochstat on November 24, 2008

Donald “Duck” Dunn is one of the most well known and influential bass players in music history.  For starters he was part of the rhythm section of the Stax/Volt Records “House Band” Booker T & The MG’s.

Booker T. Jones (organ, piano)
Steve Cropper (guitar)
Donald “Duck” Dunn (bass)
Al Jackson Jr. (drums) (1935-1975)

Their induction description for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 in the Performer category describes their influence on music history:

As the house band for the Stax/Volt labels, Booker T. and the MG’s helped define the spare, punchy sound of Memphis soul music. By contrast to Motown’s orchestrated, pop-soul records, the Stax approach was lean, economical and deeply groove-oriented. Between 1963 and 1968, Booker T. and the MGs appeared on more than 600 Stax/Volt recordings, including classics by such artists as Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Johnnie Taylor and William Bell. As a result of Stax’s affiliation with Atlantic Records, the group also worked with Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, and Albert King. Moreover, Booker T. and the MGs were a successful recording group in their own right, cutting ten albums and fourteen instrumental hits, including “Green Onions,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “Time Is Tight” and “Soul-Limbo.”

In addition to that he became very well known for his participation in the Blues Brothers Band.  He was one of the original members of that band which included (info via wikipedia):

“Joliet” Jake E. Blues – vocals
Elwood J. Blues – harmonica, vocals
Steve “The Colonel” Cropper – lead and rhythm guitar (former Booker T & the M.G.’s)
Donald “Duck” Dunn
– bass guitar (former Booker T & the M.G.’s)
Murphy Dunne – keyboards (brought in to act in the film due to Paul Shaffer’s commitment to perform with Gilda Radner in Gilda Live!, Toured with the band in the summer of 1980)
Willie “Too Big” Hall – drums, percussion (formerly of the Bar-Kays, Isaac Hayes’ band, appears in the movie)
Steve “Getdwa” Jordan – drums, percussion (Saturday Night Live Band, appears only on the albums)
Tom “Bones” Malone – trombone, trumpet, saxophone (Saturday Night Live Band)
“Blue” Lou Marini – saxophone (Saturday Night Live Band)
Matt “Guitar” Murphy – lead and rhythm guitar (Howlin’ Wolf, other artists)
Alan “Mr. Fabulous” Rubin – trumpet (Saturday Night Live Band)
Paul “The Shiv” Shaffer – keyboards, arranger
Tom “Triple Scale” Scott – saxophone (doesn’t appear in the movie, though his saxophone can still be heard on the soundtrack)

If you want to see all of the records that Donald “Duck” Dunn played on click here (long list).

Booker T & The MG’s – Green Onions 1967 Stax tour

Neil Young “All Along the Watchtower” Rehearsal Take 2
(with Booker T, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, GE Smith)

Blues Brothers – Who’s Making Love (Closing of Winterland 12.31.78)
(With “Duck” Dunn & Steve Cropper Intro’s)

Blues Brothers – Messin’ With the Kid
(Radio & Records Convention Los Angeles 1979)

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