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Ronnie Tutt, Elvis Presley’s Drummer, Dies at Age 83

He also played with Jerry Garcia, Neil Young, and other legends
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JANUARY 8: Ronnie Tutt, drums, performs with the Elvis Presley band at the Paradiso on January 8th 2004 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)

Ronnie Tutt has died at the age of 83. The drummer is best known for playing in Elvis Presley‘s TCB band. Elvis Presley Enterprises shared the sad new yesterday on the Graceland website, writing that they 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. We enjoyed each time he joined us here to celebrate Elvis Week, Elvis’ Birthday and many other special occasions. 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,” the statement continues. “Our hearts go out to Donna, his family, his fellow TCB Band members—and to his fans around the world. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”

Tutt joined TCB in 1969 when it was assembled by guitarist James Burton to back Elvis during his legendary Las Vegas opening, and he continued playing with The King until his death in 1977. In addition to working with Presley, Tutt was also a member of the Jerry Garcia Band between 1974-78.

During his six-decade-long career, Ronnie Tutt toured with Neil Diamond and played with the likes of Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Glen Campbell, Roy Orbison, and Michael McDonald. He was also a successful session musician and contributed to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” Gram Parsons’ GP and Grievous Angel, Elvis Costello’s King of America, Buckingham Nicks’ self-titled album, and more.