RIP: Elvis Presley Drummer D.J. Fontana Dead at 87 – Read 8 KEY Facts About His Lifetime and Career


Dominic Joseph “D.J.” Fontana, the drummer for Elvis Presley, died Wednesday at the age of 87, Rolling Stone reports.



In a nutshell 

For the last days, Fontana was suffering from complications of a broken hip, which might have caused the fatal outcome.

“My Dad passed away in his sleep at 9:33 tonight,” Fontana’s son David announced the drummer’s on Facebook.

I told everyone that I would keep you posted. My Dad passed away in his sleep at 9:33 Tonight. He was very comfortable…

Gepostet von David Fontana am Mittwoch, 13. Juni 2018

Here are some interesting facts about his life and career:

Started playing drums in high school 

Fontana was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and began playing drums in high school. Fontana was hired as the drummer on the radio and television show “Louisiana Hayride”.

Nickname  “D.J.” 

On Saturday night radio broadcast, he was nicknamed “D.J.”

14 years with Elvis Presley

In October 1954, the completely new journey began. Fontana was hired to play drums for Elvis  Presley, which marked the beginning of a 14-year relationship.

D.J. Fontana was with Elvis everywhere: in the studio, on the road and in films (for example, “Jailhouse Rock”). Later on, Fontana lived in Nashville and became an in-demand session musician for Presley.

Fontana was amazed by Elvis’ songs

He said about  Elvis’ first songs in the interview with The Tennessean, “They sent Elvis’ records from Memphis. I thought the sound was really incredible. It was really different… When Elvis, Scotty Moore, and Bill Black came down as a trio, Scotty approached me about drumming with them. We ran through about two or three songs backstage, including ‘That’s All Right, Mama.'”

First days with the band

This is how Fontana recalls the first time he, Elvis, Moore and Black played together:

“Well, the first night people were polite, just kind of like the Grand Ol’ Opry. But it was a country, older crowd, and I think what they did, they went home and told their kids, ‘There’s a boy down at the Louisiana Hayride you got to go see.’ The next couple weekends we had nothing but kids, so that was the breaking point actually. The kids would scream and holler, crying and all that stuff. And I think that’s what really got it started.”

Other music collaborations

Elvis, Moore, and Black weren’t the only people Fontana played with. His career includes such music partners as Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Charley Pride, Jerry Lee Lewis, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton and Roy Orbison.

This is quite a list, huh?

1997 reunion 

Later in 1997, D.J. Fontana joined Scotty  Moore for the record “All the King’s Men.” This album surprised the fans with the appearances of Keith Richards, Steve Earle, Cheap Trick, Ron Wood and many more.

You can listen to the record here.


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Dominic Joseph "D.J." Fontana, the drummer for Elvis Presley, died Wednesday at the age of 87, Rolling Stone reports.

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