Archive for Booker T. and the MGs

Donald “Duck” Dunn, R.I.P.

Posted in News with tags , , , , on May 14, 2012 by 30daysout

Donald “Duck” Dunn

Bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, whose swampy thick bottom grooves anchored many classic soul hits from the 1960s, has died at the age of 70. He was on a tour of Japan with his friend and former bandmate in Booker T. and the MGs, Steve Cropper.

Dunn was an integral part of the Memphis soul sound as bassist for the MGs, the house band for Stax and Volt records. He died Sunday morning after finishing two shows at the Blue Note Night Club in Tokyo, Cropper said in a posting on his Facebook page.

He played with Muddy Waters, Sam and Dave, Freddie King, Otis Redding, Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart among many others. Dunn played bass on the Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” and was a member of Levon Helm’s RCO All-Stars.

With Cropper, Dunn played on tour with the Blues Brothers (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd). In the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers Dunn played himself and was famous for drawling the line “We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline!”

Donald “Duck” Dunn obituary in the Memphis Commercial Appeal

MP3: “In The Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett

MP3: “Nobody’s Fault But My Own” by Otis Redding

MP3: “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty

MP3: “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” by the Blues Brothers

MP3: “Time Is Tight” by Booker T. and the MGs

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Otis Redding

Posted in Rock Classics! with tags , , , , on December 30, 2009 by 30daysout

My sister told me she has some new friends, but she didn’t go into any detail.  So the other day, I’m in her room rooting around and I found this record … it’s by Otis Redding!  She never listened to THIS kind of music before!

The record is In Person at the Whisky A Go Go, a live album from Otis Redding that came out in 1968 but was recorded two years earlier.  Now remember, Otis Redding didn’t make a huge impact in popular music until 1967, when he appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival.  He had been recording albums and singles for Stax/Volt since 1962, when “These Arms Of Mine” became a minor hit.  Redding wrote a lot of his own material, including the song “Respect,” which was later a hit for Aretha Franklin.  R&B and soul artists who managed to break through to the Top 40 charts were really accomplishing something in those weird times; but as the 1960s wore on more and more black artists were doing it, including the Motown roster and people like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett.

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30 Days Out (From Christmas): Soul Christmas

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2008 by 30daysout


Day 27 – In 1968, Atlantic Records was arguably the best R&B record label on the planet.  With all due respect to Berry Gordy’s Motown Records, the Atlantic roster of artists created classic soul and R&B that topped the charts and rocked kids across the world.   So some of the biggest names on Atlantic (and its subsidiaries Atco and Stax) came together in ’68 to put together the simply titled Soul Christmas

First out of the gate was a song specificially recorded for the project: “Back Door Santa” by Clarence Carter.  Although that’s an instant keeper, the highlight has to be the two tunes contributed by Otis Redding.  His “White Christmas” is brilliantly bleak, and the arrangement of “Merry Christmas, Baby” set the pattern for many more versions to follow.

The original Soul Christmas is available on CD with some bonus tracks (thanks, Rhino Records!).  It’s the second greatest Christmas album of all time, in our humble opinion.  Our pick for the best?  Tune in tomorrow, same Bat-time, same Bat-URL! 

MP3: “Back Door Santa” by Clarence Carter

MP3: “Merry Christmas, Baby” by Otis Redding

MP3: “Jingle Bells” by Booker T. & the MGs

MP3: “Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas” by Carla Thomas

MP3: “The Christmas Song” by King Curtis

MP3: “White Christmas” by Otis Redding