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Dominic Joseph Fontana

Birthplace: Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, United States
Death: June 13, 2018 (87)
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States (In his sleep; complications of a hip break)
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Ross Fontana and Lena Fontana
Husband of Private
Ex-husband of Private
Father of Private and Private
Brother of Antoinette F. Hess; Esther Liberto and Stanley Anthony Fontana

Occupation: Drummer
Managed by: Mikko Laakso
Last Updated:

About D.J. Fontana

D.J. Fontana, the drummer who rose to the fame with Elvis, or helped make Elvis "The King", passed away, reported The Tennesseean. According to the journal Rolling Stone, D.J. Fontana, passed away peacefully on June 13th, 2018 at the age of 87.

In the list of the Rolling Stone magazine's article the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time, Fontana scored 13th place, thus passing drummers such as Ringo Starr (14th).

Writes the Rolling Stone: On hundreds (about 450) of early Elvis Presley recordings, Dominic Joseph "D.J." Fontana was the cutting edge of rock & roll­ drumming, making hillbilly music swing at a time when country and bluegrass groups were shunning drums altogether. He pioneered a litany of oft-imitated licks from the jumpy snare hits of "Blue Suede Shoes" to the waves of punchlines that made "Hound Dog" howl. "He had incredible technique and fast hands, so he could deploy those Buddy Rich press rolls whenever he wanted to. He played like a big-band drummer - full throttle," Levon Helm once said.

"Now Elvis had a real foundation, some architecture, and he made the most of it. D.J. set Elvis free."

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D.J. Fontana's Timeline

March 15, 1931
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, United States
June 13, 2018
Age 87
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States