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2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee DJ Fontana

D.J. Fontana

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Max Weinberg (E Street Band)
  • Category:
    Musical Excellence
D.J. Fontana

Drummer D.J. Fontana was a rockabilly icon at a time when country music was cutting drums completely.

For fourteen years he was the pulse at the center of Elvis Presley’s music. Together they recorded hundreds of songs and blew audiences away with rollicking, fun-loving, informal jams.

Hall of Fame Essay


Robert Burke Warren

For a rocket to break free from the grip of Earth’s gravitational pull, it needs raw, crude thrust, a blast of primal power; the higher it ascends, the less potent combustion is needed.

Musically speaking, bassist Bill Black and drummer D.J. Fontana were just such a necessary component for the rise of Elvis Presley. In addition to their perfect qualifications as musicians, the personalities of the affable “never-met-a-stranger” showman Black and the laid-back yet authoritatively professional Fontana would contribute beyond measure to the evolution of Presley’s persona from gawky, unfocused music geek to Hillbilly Cat to King of Rock & Roll.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 2009
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DJ Fontana_quote

They were the king’s men.

Max Weinberg



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