Report: Legendary Drummer Dead At 87

Report: Legendary Drummer Dead At 87 | Society Of Rock Videos

Vic Salazar / Facebook

A Sad Day In Rock History

It is with the saddest of hearts that we have just learned that legendary drummer D.J. Fontana, longtime drummer for Elvis Presley, has passed away at the age of 87. The news was broken late last night by his son David in a brief Facebook statement.

I told everyone that I would keep you posted. My Dad passed away in his sleep at 9:33 Tonight. He was very comfortable…

Posted by David Fontana on Wednesday, June 13, 2018

As of right now, we do not know the cause of death, but as stated in David’s Facebook statement, he was “very comfortable with no pain”.

Who He Was

Born March 15, 1931, Dominic Joseph Fontana got his start as an in-house drummer for Louisiana Hayride, a country radio station turned television show, on their Saturday night broadcast which is also where he was first noticed by Elvis Presley whom hired him soon after.

D.J. Fontana’s remarkable 14-year tenure as a drummer for Elvis Presley included drum work for some Elvis’ most iconic songs such as “Hound Dog”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Jailhouse Rock”, and “Don’t Be Cruel” just to name a few.

To this day, he is regarded as Elvis’ most important drummer and even in death he will be remembered as one of music’s most important percussionists.

Other Reactions

We are extremely saddened to hear about the passing of legendary drummer D.J. Fontana. The band is all back together now?

Posted by Sun Studio on Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A real legend passed away last night: ELVIS PRESLEY's drummer D.j. Fontana. He pioneered the backbeat of rock and…

Posted by Ago Carollo on Thursday, June 14, 2018

D.J. Fontana's Wife Karen shared this evening that D.J. has passed away. He was Elvis' Drummer and a true gentleman. I…

Posted by Lee A. Gaugh on Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The world suffers a huge loss today of rock and roll Hall of fame drummer D.j fontana.. Nickname Tennessee thunder.. Most known for playing with Elvis Presley from 1954 to 1968.. He literally was the beat behind the king….. I had the honor of playing many shows with him ….here is one.. Me D.J Fontana and the ambassadors Live in Bolton arena in the UK in front of 15000 people… Rest in peace my friend..TCB

Posted by Justin Shandor on Thursday, June 14, 2018

So sad to hear that D.j. Fontana has passed. D.J. Was Elvis’ original drummer from 1954-1968 and helped create the sound…

Posted by Brent Cooper on Thursday, June 14, 2018

So sad to hear that DJ Fontana passed away last night in his sleep. He was Elvis Presley’s legendary drummer. I had the…

Posted by Joni Compretta on Thursday, June 14, 2018

Rest in peace Mr. DJ Fontana. Worlds best drummer. #elvid #djfontana #1956 #rip

A post shared by Daily Elvis Pictures (@dailyelvispictures) on

RIP DJ Fontana #elvispresley #elvisfan #elvis #djfontana

A post shared by Sammy Presley (@mrspresleytcb) on

Thank You D.J. Fontana

It simply goes without saying that Fontana was, is, and always will be a pillar in the world of music. Simply put, he kept the meter for a man who helped reshape music, as we know it today and remained incredibly influential throughout his entire career and always will. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time. RIP D.J. Fontana. You will be forever missed.

Don’t Miss Out! Sign up for the Latest Updates

Premium Partners

Society of Rock partner World War Wings
Society of Rock partner Daily Rock Box
Society of Rock partner Country Music Nation
Society of Rock partner Country Rebel
Society of Rock partner I Love Classic Rock
Society of Rock partner Rock Pasta

Interested in becoming a partner?

Contact us for more info.