Booker T. & the M.G.’s bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn died Sunday at the age of 70. The musician, who had played with the influential instrumental R&B collective since 1965, held down the low-end on classics like Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour” and the group’s own cover of The Rascals’ “Groovin’.”
Cited as an influence by many of the great R&B musicians of both yesterday and today, Booker T. & the M.G.’s contributed to some incredible art during their heyday. Many of the posters, postcards and handbills promoting their concerts from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s are full of impressive artistry, as well.
For instance, the poster advertising The Mothers of Invention’s three-night stand in San Francisco in 1968, featuring B.B. King and Booker T. & the M.G.’s as support, screams ‘60s. It features bright lettering and a rainbow of colors set against a black background and would be perfect for an R&B fan’s man cave. The poster, designed by well-known poster artist Bill Fried, can be had for $188 on music memorabilia website Wolfgang’s Vault, while its handbill version is currently $135 and its postcard print $58.
Another interesting piece is Stanley Mouse’s “Heart in Hand” design promoting Booker T. & the M.G.’s June 1968 headlining gig in San Francisco. Jeff Buckley’s dad Tim opened the show and is also included on the handbill ($166), which features some sort of evil being holding a human heart in his hands. It’s a bit more gruesome than the average Booker T. piece, but still a must-have for any R&B collector!