Elvis Presley's Drummer D.J. Fontana Dies

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Pioneering rock drummer D.J. Fontana, who was Elvis Presley’s first drummer, has died on the age of 87.

Fontana’s spouse, Karen, advised The Associated Press that her husband died in his sleep Wednesday evening in Nashville.

The premier percussionist had been affected by problems after breaking his hip in 2016, she mentioned.

Dominic Joseph Fontana, born in 1931, started taking part in drums in his highschool marching band whereas jamming on large band data in his spare time.

By the early ’50s, Fontana was a drummer on the favored Louisiana Hayride radio present out of Shreveport, Louisiana. That’s the place he met a younger Elvis Presley, who was performing with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black.

Fontana was smitten with their sound and needed to be a part of their combo.

“I heard Scotty and Bill and Elvis one evening and knew that I couldn’t mess up that sound,” Fontana as soon as mentioned, based on The Hollywood Reporter. “I believe the easy strategy comes from my listening to a lot big-band music. I combined it with rockabilly.”

Fontana was a part of Presley’s band for 14 years, taking part in on greater than 460 sides, together with traditional recordings like “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock,” in addition to the King’s legendary 1956 efficiency on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” based on Rolling Stone.

For his pioneering efforts, Fontana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

Fontana left Presley within the late 1960s as a result of he didn’t assume he slot in with the larger ensembles and Vegas-style spectacle that grew to become the King’s focus in his later years, based on The New York Times. But he had no exhausting emotions. 

In 2010, he advised the web site Elvis Information Network that Presley was “a pleasant man” who “at all times handled individuals like he needed to be handled.”

He additionally was conscious of Presley’s affect.

“You know, we labored exhausting,” Fontana mentioned. “We simply tried to chop good data. But we knew that if it wasn’t for Elvis, we wouldn’t have accomplished something.”

Fontana is survived by his second spouse, the previous Karen Arrington, two sons, David and Jeff, and 10 grandchildren.

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