Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bill Black & D.J. Fontana, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees

Earlier this month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced nine new inductees into their Hall of Fame. The official induction ceremony takes place April 4th in Cleveland. Each day from January 18th through the 26th, we'll be profiling these inductees here on the KXCI blog; today we feature D.J. Fontana and Bill Black.

(Learn more about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at

Bill Black is best known as the bassist for Elvis Presley. Black played double bass on early Presley recordings including “Good Rockin’ Tonight”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Baby Let’s Play House”, “Mystery Train”, “That’s All Right (Mama)", “Hound Dog”; and eventually became one of the first bass players to use the Fender Precision Bass guitar in popular music on “Jailhouse Rock” in the late 1950’s.

Black’s bass playing had an extraordinary impact on rock and roll bass playing, influencing many players including Paul McCartney. Afterward, he formed the Bill Black Combo and scored numerous instrumental hits during the late 1950’s and 1960’s.

D. J. Fontana is best known as the drummer for Elvis Presley for 14 years. Fontana joined a band consisting of Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (bass) and Elvis Presley (rhythm guitar), calling themselves “The Blue Moon Boys”. The band would perform and record the vast majority of the Elvis Presley hits of the 50’s including “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Hound Dog”, “Don’t Be Cruel”, and “Jailhouse Rock”. The band also toured extensively and performed on several television appearances through 1956 and 1957. His drumming built the foundation of rock and roll percussion influencing future players such as Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts and Max Weinberg.


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