D. J. (Dominic Joseph) Fontana passed away June 13 in his sleep at the age of 87. He had been suffering from complications due to a broken hip.
In 1954 Sam Phillips of Sun Records hired D. J. Phillips to join lead guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill Black, and rhythm guitarist Elvis Presley. As drummer, he played on the majority of Elvis's hits in the 50s and 60s, even after the band broke up in 1958. He was also a part of Elvis's comeback special televised on NBC in 1968.
It is estimated D. J. Fontana played on over 460 of Elvis Presley's songs. Apart from Elvis, D. J. and Scotty Moore would often perform together most notably in 2002 backing Paul McCartney on this version of "That's All Right (Mama)".
In 2009, D. J. was inducted into both the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a sideman.
He provides a steady shuffle to this Elvis hit from the 60s.
D. J. Fontana provided the back neat for many of Elvis's biggest hits; from Heartbreak Hotel all the way through Return To Sender. Do yourself a favor and listen to many of those songs and check out the diversity of the many backbeats that D.J provided.