Elvis' Original Drummer D.J. Fontana Passes Away At 87
DJ Fontana, Elvis original drummer passed away in his sleep on June 13 at the age of 87. Dominic Joseph Fontana, known as DJ, was born in 1931 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He began playing the drums for Elvis in 1954 and worked with him until 1968 during his appearance on the NBC Elvis TV Special.
Fontana featured on the recording of a host of Elvis' biggest hits including Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, Don't Be Cruel and Jailhouse Rock. The Louisiana native also featured on Elvis' iconic appearances on the Ed Sullivan show. Fontana joined a band consisting of Scotty Moore on lead guitar, Bill Black on bass and Elvis Presley on rhythm guitar and vocals, originally calling themselves The Blue Moon Boys. The band was formed by record producer Sam Phillips and would go on to record many of The King’s top tunes. Although the band officially broke up in 1958 Fontana and Elvis continued working together throughout the 1960s.