Ron Tutt, Loyal Drummer of Elvis Presley

Ron Tutt is a fantastic Dallas-born drummer who has played with some of the most legendary musicians in the world. He has recorded and performed with artists like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, and many others.

Of course, he got these appearances because of his expertise in playing the drums. He’s known as one of the best drummers in the industry.

Early Life

Ron Tutt Performance
Ron Tutt Performance

Ronald Ellis Tutt, famous as Ron Tutt, was born on March 12, 1938, in Dallas, Texas, United States. He died on October 16, 2021, in Franklin, Tennessee, at 83.

Tutt has been producing music since he was a child and was involved in many performing arts. The instruments that he played other than drum were guitar, trumpet, and violin. Fun fact, Tutt didn’t even play drums until he was seventeen.

After he took up drums, he got some gigs. One of his early gigs is playing music with the little-known Elvis Presley. Later that year, Ron Tutt became known for his drumming style, which blends rock and roll, country, and blues. His powerful yet groovy drumming is also something that has helped shape the sound of many classic songs.

“Taking Care of Business” Band

Ron Tutt playing drum

He has been performing with various bands as a musician who plays drums. Still, the most remarkable thing about his career is that he played for the Taking Care of Business (TCB) band, the Elvis Presley touring and recording band. Tutt didn’t use ‘connection’ to join the band. Instead, he auditioned for it in 1969. Ron Tutt didn’t even feel confident because many other drummers were there. However, Elvis Presley chose Tutt after being persuaded by his manager, and he thought Tutt had a big interest in him. Tutt was accepted as their drummer and replaced Presley’s longtime drum player D.J. Fontana.

Source from album collectors said Tutt’s drum playing was first heard on the Elvis in Person at the International Hotel live half of the double album From Memphis to Vegas / From Vegas to Memphis, released in October 1969.

You can also hear his drumming on the live B-side track Kentucky Rain. Since then, he’s been touring and recording with Presley until he died in 1977. Tutt has played on many of Presley’s recordings, including hits such as “Suspicious Minds,” “Burning Love,” and ” always on my mind.”

Tutt with Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, and Many More

Drummer Ron Tutt
Drummer Ron Tutt

Ron Tutt’s session work has also earned him a reputation as one of the most in-demand drummers in the industry. He is a highly sought-after drummer for recording sessions and live performances. Besides becoming a member of Elvis Presley’s touring band, he was a session drummer for several musicians, like Billy Joel, Gram Parsons, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, and many more.

Some of the songs where drummer Tutt is involved in the recording are all of the songs on Billy Joel’s second and third albums: 1973’s breakthrough, Piano Man (“Captain Jack” excluded), and 1974’s Streetlife Serenade. He also played on other musicians’ albums, like the albums of Neil Diamond’s band and Emmylou Harris.

What do you think?

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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