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Entertainment Longtime Elvis Presley drummer D.J. Fontana has died

17:51  14 june  2018
17:51  14 june  2018 Source:   ap.org

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Elvis presley IT's allright mama - one night with you. D . J . Fontana Rock 'n' Roll had a clean slate. There were no drum parts written for him on those Elvis records.

RCA had been anxious for some time to get new material for both a single and a gospel EP, but Elvis had been unwilling to record in Nashville. Musicians: Elvis Presley guitar, Scotty Moore guitar, Bill Black bass, D . J . Fontana drums , Gordon Stoker piano and The Jordanaires.

FILE- In this Oct. 16, 2004 file photo, longtime Elvis Presley drummer D.J. Fontana performs at the 50th anniversary celebration concert of Elvis Presley's first performance at the Louisiana Hayride in Sherveport, La. Fontana, the drummer who helped launch rock 'n' roll as Elvis Presley's sideman, has died at 87, his wife said Thursday, June 14, 2018. Karen Fontana told The Associated Press that her husband died Wednesday, June 13 in his sleep in Nashville. (Robert Ruiz/The Shreveport Times via AP) © The Associated Press FILE- In this Oct. 16, 2004 file photo, longtime Elvis Presley drummer D.J. Fontana performs at the 50th anniversary celebration concert of Elvis Presley's first performance at the Louisiana Hayride in Sherveport, La. Fontana, the drummer who helped launch rock 'n' roll as Elvis Presley's sideman, has died at 87, his wife said Thursday, June 14, 2018. Karen Fontana told The Associated Press that her husband died Wednesday, June 13 in his sleep in Nashville. (Robert Ruiz/The Shreveport Times via AP)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — D.J. Fontana, the drummer who helped launch rock 'n' roll as Elvis Presley's sideman, has died at 87, his wife said Thursday.

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He died at his longtime home in Nashville, Tennessee. Marion came back with a slip of paper, and it said ' Elvis Presley .' I said, ' Elvis Presley – what the hell kind of a name is that?'" They later added drummer D . J . Fontana , went on the road, and played every small joint that offered them a stage.

Presley ’s comeback special came at a time when the King had been appearing in movies rather than recording music or performing live. “ Elvis was hardly ever nervous–but he was then,” drummer D . J . Fontana told Rolling Stone in a feature about the special last year.

Karen Fontana told The Associated Press that her husband died in his sleep in Nashville Wednesday night. She said he had been suffering complications from breaking his hip in 2016.

"He was loved by everybody all over the world. He treated everybody like everybody was his friend," she said.

Fontana rose from strip joints in his native Shreveport, Louisiana to the heights of musical history as Presley's first and longtime drummer.

They met on the Louisiana Hayride, a popular and influential radio and TV country music program based in Shreveport. Fontana, the staff drummer, asked to join his group for a session broadcast in October 1954.

A regional act at the time, the 19-year-old Presley had been recording and touring since the summer with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, the musicians Sun Records founder Sam Phillips brought in after Elvis turned up at the Memphis, Tennessee-based label's studio.

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Interview for EIN by Arjan Deelen. Dominic Joseph Fontana - D . J Fontana - was Elvis ' drummer from 1955 to 1969. Previously he had played drums with the local radio station KWKH. Fontana played drums on Fontana was playing a session in Memphis, coincidentally, when he heard Presley died .

As the longtime drummer behind Elvis Presley , D . J . Fontana was a seminal force in the development of rock & roll, joining guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black in the supporting cast of some of…

"The Blue Moon Boys," as they called themselves, had been playing a blend of blues, pop and country that was unique at the time; but it was missing something crucial.

"Elvis and Scotty and Bill were making good music, but it wasn't rock n' roll until D.J. put the backbeat into it," the Band's Levon Helm told The Associated Press in 2004.

Elvis returned often to the Hayride, and in 1955 Fontana became a permanent member of the group, working with Presley through much of the 1960s.

Influenced by such big band drummers as Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa, Fontana was admired by Helm, Ringo Starr, Max Weinberg and many others for his power, speed and steadiness, which he honed during his time with the Hayride.

"I heard Scotty and Bill and Elvis one night and knew that I couldn't mess up that sound," Fontana later said. "I think the simple approach comes from my hearing so much big band music. I mixed it with rockabilly."

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Yet before that, in 1966 and 1967, Elvis had recorded some sessions in Nashville that heralded his mighty return--yet nobody knew it, for the songs were all scattered over albums both great and lousy. D . J . Fontana ( drums ).

Scotty Moore, a guitarist who helped Elvis Presley shape his sound, has died in Nashville, Tenn., at the age of 84. Moore's death was confirmed by a family member of Moore's longtime partner Gail Pollock and also by Karen Fontana , the wife of Presley drummer D . J . Fontana .

Fontana was there for Presley's extraordinary first wave of success, from such hit singles as "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" to his increasingly frenzied live shows and hip-shaking appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and other TV programs.

He played on many of the soundtracks — and was occasionally seen on camera — for Presley's movies in the '50s and '60s.

He was on the "comeback" Christmas TV special of 1968 that featured Presley and fellow musicians jamming on a tiny stage before a studio audience, with Fontana keeping time on a guitar case. Widely cited for reviving Presley's career, the comeback show was his first live performance in years and the last time Moore and Fontana worked with Elvis, who died in 1977.

"Elvis would always want to go back and talk about the early days when there were four of us in a car, Me, Scotty, Bill and Himself," Fontana later told the fan site Elvis Australia.

"And he told me one day, he said 'You know, I wish I wasn't Elvis.' And that struck me funny — even back then. You know he kinda wanted to get away for a while. I think he should have retired for about 7 or 8 years, and then come back — you know. And then he might still be with us."

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As the longtime drummer behind Elvis Presley , D . J . Fontana was a seminal force in the development of rock & roll, joining guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black in the supporting cast of some of…

Memories of Elvis Presley 's friend and drummer D . J . Fontana . That's Alright, Elvis by Dickerson, James She was a friend of Elvis Presley 's and during her career she has interviewed virtually every notable Elvis ' longtime right-hand man Joe Esposito's book is a compilation of 200 interviews

Fontana also played on Starr's solo album "Beaucoups of Blues," and worked with country artist Webb Pierce and rockabilly star Gene Vincent among others. More recently, he and Moore were joined by Helm, Keith Richards and other guests for the 1997 Presley tribute album "All the King's Men."

In 2000, he played on Paul McCartney's cover of an early Presley hit, "That's All Right."

Born in 1931, Dominic Joseph Fontana began playing drums as a teen in his high school marching band and would also jam with his cousin while listening to big band recordings.

By his early 20s he was performing at strip joints and spending enough time around the Hayride that he was hired fulltime, although at first he was asked to play behind a curtain because drums were scorned by country audiences.

Presley's Sun Records contract was purchased by RCA Victor late in 1955 and he became a sensation around the country, and beyond.

During an interview with Elvis Australia, Fontana recalled a 1957 show at a Canadian football stadium, when Presley did his best to honor the owners' wishes to keep the crowd off the grass and away from the stage.

"So Elvis came on, did a few songs, and said: 'We'd like for you to get back in your seats.' Which they did, very orderly. Until the last song, and here they come again," Fontana explained.

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Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley 's longtime guitarist and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, died Tuesday at the age of 84. Karen Fontana , the wife of Presley drummer D . J . Fontana , also confirmed Moore's death to Rolling Stone.

Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley ’s guitarist, has died at the age of 84. Moore passed away at his home in Nashvillle on Tuesday. Karen Fontana , the wife of Elvis ’s longtime drummer D . J . Fontana , confirmed Moore’s death to Rolling Stone.

"Elvis left the stage, and here we were with 20,000 people! The stage turned over, but we finally got all the equipment in the car, which was right behind the stage. The car was surrounded by kids, and they were shaking the car."

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