NPR

Elvis Presley's Longtime Drummer, D.J. Fontana, Has Died

The drummer who laid down the sound of rock and roll on tunes like "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Jailhouse Rock" died Wednesday at age 87. He had been the last surviving member of Presley's 1950s band.
Drummer D.J. Fontana (far right), on stage with Elvis Presley during the singer's landmark 1968 comeback TV special. Fontana died Thursday at age 87. Source: NBC

D.J. Fontana, the drummer who helped create Elvis Presley's early, rockabilly sound and who played with him throughout the 1950s on hits like "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Hound Dog," has died, his wife Karen Fontana confirmed to NPR. Fontana died on Wednesday night in his sleep at the age

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR7 min read
How Georgia Became A Surprising Bright Spot In The U.S. Solar Industry
Solar is booming in Georgia, and it's not because of state mandates supporting renewable energy or concerns about climate change. Instead, powerful market forces are driving the growth.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban On Trademarking 'Immoral,' 'Scandalous' Words, Symbols
The decision paves the way for a clothing line, FUCT, to get its trademark. But the justices were split on how far is too far and which words they would find to be the most vulgar and profane.
NPR6 min readPolitics
U.S. Mideast Plan Rejected By Palestinian Leaders, Panned By Former U.S. Envoys
The White House unveiled its economic peace proposal for Palestinians on Saturday: $50 billion for Palestinians and countries in the region. It isn't clear who would contribute the funding.