His son David took to Facebook to share the saddening news on Thursday.
DJ Fontana, best known as Elvis Presley’s drummer, has died.
The legendary musician passed away on Wednesday night (June 13), according to a Facebook post his son David Fontana uploaded on Thursday. He was 87.
“I told everyone that I would keep you posted,” he wrote. “My Dad passed away in his sleep at 9:33 Tonight. He was very comfortable with no pain. I will post more tomorrow when I have more information. We ask for privacy at this time. Thank you for your love and prayers.”
Born Dominic Joseph Fontana in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1931, the drummer first joined The Blue Moon Boys in 1955 alongside Presley, Scott Moore and Bill Black. The band would perform and record the majority of Presley’s hits in the 1950s, including “Hound Dog”, “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Jailhouse Rock”, as well as appear with the music icon on TV appearances, such as on “The Ed Sullivan Show”.
Though the officially band broke up in 1958, Presley and Fontana played and recorded together throughout the 1960s, including in the landmark Christmas 1968 TV special. Despite an offer to join Presley’s band in Las Vegas, Fontana didn’t play with the star again and last saw him in the mid-’70s, shortly before the King of Rock and Roll’s death at the age of 42 in 1977.
In 2009, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the sideman category.
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