Donald "Duck" Dunn, the bassist for Memphis soul band Booker T & the MGs -- the house band at seminal '60s Stax Records -- passed away in his sleep early Sunday morning, according to his friend and longtime bandmate Steve Cropper. Dunn died with his boots on, on tour with Cropper in Tokyo. He had just played two shows at the Blue Note Night Club the night before he died.
"Today I lost my best friend, the World has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live," Cropper said on Facebook.
A Memphis native, Dunn joined Booker T & the MGs, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, right out of high school. He also appeared as the debonair, pipe-smoking bassist in the Blues Brothers Band in the films The Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers 2000, as well as on Saturday Night Live. One of his lines in the former film, "We had a sound powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline," makes an excellent epitaph.
Here are five other bassists whose sound helped define an entire label...and sometimes more.