Dominic Joseph Fontana (Shreveport, Louisiana, 1931) is best known as drummer DJ Fontana. He was Elvis' drummer for 14 years and played on over 460 RCA cuts with Elvis.
DJ Fontana was also the Saturday night staff drummer for the Louisiana Hayride. He always played behind the curtain as in those days drums were considered a musical sacrilege to country music fans.
The first time he played with Elvis and the Blue Moon Boys was on October 16, 1954. He played behind the curtain as usual, but after that date he played out in front with the rest of the band. He joined Elvis' group full-time in August of 1955.
When you hear DJ Fontana playing his drums you are hearing a kid from Shreveport, LA tell you what he thinks music should sound like. Rock 'n' Roll had a clean slate. There were no drum parts written for him on those Elvis records. He dictated the groove and made you feel it. There is no one on this earth that can make music move the way he did. He set the standard. Listen close to hits like "Heartbreak Hotel", "Jail House Rock," "Teddy Bear," "Hound Dog," Love Me Tender," "Blue Suede Shoes," and you hear the blueprint of the foundation for all Rock 'n' Roll being formed. When that is understood, one can truly appreciate D.J.'s influence on drummers like Ringo and Charlie Watts, and feel his effect on the next forty years of music.
DJ and guitarist Scotty Moore received the Nashville Music Award for the best Independent Album Of The Year in 1998 for Going Back To Memphis, from their CD "All The Kings Men". DJ and Scotty were also nominated for a Grammy in 1998 for their CD "All The Kings Men".
DJ has also played for such great artist as: Paul McCartney, Ron Wood, Keith Richards, Carl Perkins, Jeff Beck, Ringo Starr, The Tractors, Lee Rocker and many others.