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Congratulations to Bill and DJ

Written by admin on March 3, 2009 – 9:36 am -

Some of you will already be aware that Bill Black and DJ Fontana are among the inductees at this year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. Both richly deserve their place in the ‘sidemen category’ for their innovative work with Elvis in the mid 50s.

This isn’t hot off the press but I wanted to give the guys a mention as this blog didn’t exist when the announcement was made.

Bill Black appeared on all of Elvis’ groundbreaking Sun Records recordings, starting with That’s All Right, which was recorded on 5 July 1954. At that point the band consisted of Elvis on vocals and rhythm guitar, Scotty Moore on lead guitar and Bill Black on double bass. The trio travelled thousands of miles all over the southern States of America, during which time they built a solid following with their unusual hybrid of country and rhythm and blues.

Bill finished working with Elvis in 1958, after which he formed the moderately successful Bill Black Trio. Sadly, he died in 1965

DJ Fontana was the house drummer at the Louisiana Hayride, which Elvis had a weekly guest spot on. He joined Elvis’ band full time in 1955, but didn’t appear on record until the move from Sun to RCA. It is DJ who you hear on classics such as Hound Dog, Blue Suede Shoes and Lawdy Miss Clawdy.

DJ continued to work with Elvis in the studio throughout the 60s, but their professional relationship ceased in June 1968 with the legendary ‘sit-down’ gigs filmed as part of Elvis’ television special, which has since become known as the comeback special.

Scotty Moore was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

The induction ceremony takes place in Cleveland on 4 April 2009.

Further information is available at:

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