Elvis Presley: D.J. Fontana - about Elvis' manager Tom Parker (00:01:26)
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Elvis Presley: D.J. Fontana - about Elvis' manager Tom Parker

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Location and time:

, 1999


Dominic Joseph Fontana (born March 15, 1931, in Shreveport, Louisiana) is an American musician best known as the drummer for Elvis Presley for 14 years. He played on over 460 RCA cuts with Elvis.

Nicknamed "D. J.", he was employed by the Louisiana Hayride to be an in-house drummer on its Saturday night radio broadcast. In October of 1954 he was hired to play drums for Presley that marked the beginning of a fifteen year relationship. He performed on the NBC television special known as the '68 Comeback Special.

Fontana, joined a band (originally assembled by Sam Phillips without a drummer) consisting of Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (bass) and Elvis Presley (rhythm guitar), calling themselves "The Blue Moon Boys". The band became the band that would perform and record the vast majority of the Elvis Presley hits of the 50's (some also including piano and backing vocals from the Jordanaires) including "Heartbreak Hotel", "Hound Dog", "Don't Be Cruel", and "Jailhouse Rock". The band also toured extensively and performed on several television appearances including The Ed Sullivan Show through 1956 and 1957.

I learned the value of simplicity at the Hayride. I heard Scotty and Bill and Elvis one night and knew that I couldn't mess up that sound. That's why I always play what I feel. If that won't work, I just won't do it again. I think the simple approach comes from my hearing so much big band music. I mixed it with rockabilly.[1]

The band officially broke up in 1958 although Fontana and Elvis still played and recorded together regularly throughout the 1960s. Moore would sometimes join them. Moore and Fontana have also performed together, including a 2002 recording of "That's All Right (Mama) with Paul McCartney. Black did not play with the band after 1958.

In 1983 he published a book in pictorial form titled "D. J. Fontana Remembers Elvis" about his years playing with Presley.

Fontana's Life and Times weekly phonecasting debuted on July 3, 2007.

Fontana's pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Cleveland on January 14, 2009.

On April 4, 2009, Fontana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the sidemen category.


Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King".

Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Presley moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family at the age of 13. He began his career there in 1954 when Sun Records owner Sam Phillips, eager to bring the sound of African American music to a wider audience, saw in Presley the means to realize his ambition. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was one of the originators of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country and rhythm and blues. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage the singer for over two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", released in January 1956, was a number one hit. He became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll with a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs, many from African American sources, and his uninhibited performance style made him enormously popular—and controversial. In November 1956, he made his film debut in Love Me Tender.

Conscripted into military service in 1958, Presley relaunched his recording career two years later with some of his most commercially successful work. He staged few concerts, however, and, guided by Parker, proceeded to devote much of the 1960s to making Hollywood movies and soundtrack albums, most of them critically derided. In 1968, after seven years away from the stage, he returned to live performance in a celebrated comeback television special that led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of profitable tours. In 1973, Presley staged the first concert broadcast globally via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii, seen by approximately 1.5 billion viewers. Prescription drug abuse severely compromised his health, and he died suddenly in 1977 at the age of 42.

Presley is regarded as one of the most important figures of 20th-century popular culture. He had a versatile voice and unusually wide success encompassing many genres, including country, pop ballads, gospel, and blues. He is the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music.[1][2][3][4] Nominated for 14 competitive Grammys, he won three, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36. He has been inducted into four music halls of fame.

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Latvian :

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20-12-2010 15:32:19

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