Donald “Duck” Dunn is a native of Memphis, Tennesee. A bass player, he is known as one of the architects of the Stax / Volt sound. He attended Messick High School in Memphis with Steve Cropper and Don Nix, who would later work with him at Stax. His first band with his friends was called the Royal Spades. After a time, they added a few other instrumentalists and changed their name to the Mar-Keys. They gigged in the clubs and roadhouses around Memphis and had a 1961 hit with “Last Night”. They toured around the US for a bit, but the band fizzled after a few years.
In 1963, Donald returned home to Memphis and joined Booker T and the MGs, the house band for Stax Records. Steve Cropper was also a member. Between 1963 and 1968, Donald appeared on more than 600 recordings, including “Respect”, “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay”, “In The Midnight Hour”, “You Don’t Know Like I Know”, “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” and “Soul Man”. The band also had a hit with “Green Onions” in their own right. In 1967, they backed Otis Redding at the Monterey Pop Festival.
In addition to recording three albums with Albert King, Donald has also worked with Rod Stewart, Levon Helm, Leon Russell, Muddy Waters, Elvis Presley, Robert Palmer, Roy Buchanan, Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Tom Petty, CSN, CSN&Y and Neil Young.
He recorded and toured with Eric Clapton between 1983 and 1985. He was reunited with Eric in October 1992 at Columbia Records’ 30th Anniversary Tribute to Bob Dylan (popularly known as “BobFest”). He can be heard on Money & Cigarettes.