Elvis Presley drummer Ron Tutt dies

Tutt passed away at the age of 83

Ron Tutt, drummer for Elvis Presley from 1969 until Presley’s death in 1977, has passed away at the age of 83. Tutt died peacefully of natural causes on Saturday (Oct 16th) at his Franklin, TN home surrounded by family. His wife Donna says he suffered from a longtime heart condition and doctors couldn’t assist further.

Tutt was part of The King of Rock and Roll’s TCB (Takin’ Care of Business) band for 11 years which included Presley’s 1969 Las Vegas opening.

“All of us with Elvis Presley Enterprises were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ronnie Tutt. In addition to being a legendary drummer, he was a good friend to many of us here at Graceland,” Elvis Presley Enterprises shares of Tutt’s passing. “Ronnie was an amazing ambassador to Elvis’ legacy – sharing his memories of working with Elvis with fans – as well as bringing Elvis’ music to arenas around the globe through later Elvis in Concert shows and performances.”

Tutt’s 60 year career also included performances and recordings with the Jerry Garcia Band for two years.

“From Elvis to the Jerry Garcia Band, Neil Diamond, and countless other projects, Ron Tutt’s steady drumming kept the mystery train rolling to where no man has gone before,” Garcia’s Estate shares on Twitter. “Fare thee well and thank you sir.”

Following his stint with Garcia, Neil Diamond invited him to become a permanent touring member and session player on his albums which lasted for more than 40 years.

“The legendary Ron Tutt has passed away,” Diamond shares on Twitter. “It’s been my privilege to share the stage with Ronnie for more than 40 years. He was truly one of the all-time greats in Rock and Roll. God bless you, Ronnie. Give my regards to Elvis. We love you, Ronnie.”

He was also an in demand session drummer who can be heard on Billy Joel’s 1973 Piano Man and 1974 Streetlife Serenade albums. Liberty Devitto, who was Joel’s drummer from 1976-2006, says Tutt was a big influence on his career.

“Ron Tutt passed away. He played great on piano man and street life. Made me a better drummer having to study him,” Devitto shares on social media.

Tutt also performed and recorded with the likes of Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Elvis Costello, Stevie Nicks, Michael McDonald, and countless others.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: info@themusicuniverse.com

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