D.J. Fontana dies, for years the drummer of Elvis Presley

MEMPHIS, Tennessee, USA (AP) — D.J. Fontana, the drummer who helped launch rock ' n ' roll as an accompanying musician for Elvis Presley, passed away, his wife said on Thursday. He was 87 years old.

Karen Fontana told the Associated Press that her husband died on Wednesday night in Nashville in her sleep.

Fontana went from playing in nudist places in his native Shreveport, Louisiana, to make history as the first drummer of Elvis Presley, with whom he worked for years.

D.J. Fontana Image Twitter @silenciocomar

He was there for the first wave of hits by the King of Rock ' n ' roll, from singles like "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock" to his provocative appearances in "The Ed Sullivan Show" and other TV shows.

In 2009, Fontana was incorporated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.