Sign up for newsletter
 

Presley drummer D.J. Fontana passes away

Thursday, June 14, 2018 – D.J. Fontana, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer who played on more than 460 Elvis Presley recordings, passed away on Thursday at 87 in Nashville.

Fontana started playing for Presley in October 1954 and was with him through is comeback special in 1968.

Fontana was employed by the Louisiana Hayride to be an in-house drummer on its Saturday night radio broadcast. Presley played at the Hayride with a band that included Scotty Moore on lead guitar and Bill Black on bass, but no drummer until Fontana stepped in. The Blue Moon Boys thus were formed with Black, Moore and Fontana.

The group split in 1958, but Fontana and Presley still played and recorded together throughout the 1960s. Presley who had been active for a number of years after his return from the Army launched a widely successful NBC television comeback special.

Fontana eventually left Presley after the bands grew larger and larger. Fontana became an in-demand session player. He recorded with artists including Dolly Parton and Steve Earle. Moore and Fontana performed together without Presley, including a 2002 recording of "That's All Right (Mama) along with Paul McCartney.

Fontana was inducted into the Rock and Hall of Fame in 2009 in the sideman category.

More news for Elvis Presley

CD reviews for Elvis Presley

Good Rockin' Tonight: The Evolution Of Elvis Presley - The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives
This is the third official go round for the live '50's recordings lovingly compiled in Good Rockin' Tonight, but that makes them no less worthwhile. Narrator Frank Page saw the whole Elvis Presley phenomena take shape from the wings of the hallowed Louisiana Hayride and his comments provide valuable context concerning the young rocker's still-developing style. Naturally the chief attraction is the Memphis Flash himself burning through the Sun-era gems "That's All Right Mama," "Blue Moon Of »»»
That's The Way It Is - Special Edition
Culled from sessions, Las Vegas concerts and rehearsals for the 1970 documentary "That's The Way It Is" captures the 35-year-old Elvis Presley still glowing from the resurrection of his 1968 comeback special and a fresh string of hits. Like many Sun Records alumni, Presley strongly related to the gospel elements that bled from soul into mainstream pop during the previous decade. Resultantly, his stage-show featured gospel back-up singers and hyped-up spiritual arrangements on an »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Tillis unlocks "Looking for a Feeling" "It had been a while since I'd given my fans any new solo music," Pam Tillis explains, when asked about the motivation behind recording her album "Looking for a Feeling." Until recently, Tillis mostly busied herself by recording and touring with... »»»
Hull takes "25 Trips" Sierra Hull would be the first to tell you that releasing a new CD in the teeth of a global pandemic is a challenge. "It's very strange...just adjusting to being home and knowing what that feels like. It's the most I've... »»»
Lewis (and her daughters) make beautiful music (occasionally) and carry on the legacy Linda Gail Lewis has several interesting bullet points on her lengthy resume. She released her first singles in 1963 at age 16, and her first solo album, "The Two Sides of Linda Gail Lewis," in 1969 when she was just 22; her follow up album wouldn't appear... »»»
Neon Cross CD review - Neon Cross
Many records are touted as inspiring, but few albums actually live up to that billing by actually striking sentiments worthy of universal appeal. In Jaime Wyatt's case, there's never any doubt, »»»
Ghosts of West Virginia CD review - Ghosts of West Virginia
In a time when political views are pushing us further apart as a society, Steve Earle is one of the few artists reaching across that divide to seek common ground. In the case of his album, "Ghosts »»»
Tessy Lou Williams CD review - Tessy Lou Williams
Welcome country traditionalist Tessy Lou Williams who hails from Montana, the daughter of two musicians who emigrated from Nashville to Willow Creek, Mont. (population 210). Her parents toured with their »»»
Ready for the Horses CD review - Ready for the Horses
"It ain't for the faint of heart," Jarrod Dickenson croons on the lead-off track on "Ready the Horses," a rallying cry meant to inspire the reticent among us in this era of distrust »»»
Songs I Can't Live Without CD review - Songs I Can't Live Without
After a seven-year hiatus, Marshall Chapman is back with "Songs I Can't Live Without," her 14th release and eighth on her own label. The 71-year-old singer-songwriter-author-actress had intended to retire from music »»»