Donald 'Duck' Dunn Playlist: 10 Essential Grooves From the Bass Legend

With the sudden passing of

 

"I Thank You" (1968): Dunn found a fat, taut groove to literally propel Sam & Dave's final release on Stax (before moving to Atlantic), which was a Top 10 Pop Singles hit and a Top 5 R&B Singles smash.

"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" (1968): Dunn's simple but affecting three-note recurring pattern gave this posthumous, chart-topping single by Redding the ballast that allowed the other instruments to float atop and also support the singer's nuanced and emotive performance.

"Time is Tight" (1969): Dunn's loping line, a slightly slower version of the one he invented for "I Can't Turn You Loose," gently pushed this Booker T. & the MG's second best-known song, which appeared on the group's soundtrack for the film "Up Tight" and went Top 10 on both the Hot 100 (No. 5) and the R&B Singles (No. 7) charts.

"Golden Slumbers" Medley Unavailable


Beatles Medley: "Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight"/"The End"/"Here Comes the Sun"/"Come Together" (1970): Dunn's work, as well as the rest of the MG's, shined on "McLemore Avenue," the group's instrumental homage to the Beatles' "Abbey Road." But the opening medley was filled with bottom end grandeur, right up to the Dunn's playful treatment of "Come Together." (His romp through "You Can't Do That" on the album's 2011 remaster is another highlight.)

"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (1981): Dunn was recruited to play on just one track from Stevie Nicks' solo debut, but it was the right one -- her duet with Tom Petty that skied to No. 3 on the Hot 100 and made Nicks a force to be reckoned with outside of Fleetwood Mac. Watch the video at right, though Dunn does not appear.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print