Ron Tutt, longtime drummer for Elvis Presley, and whose credits include Jerry Garcia, Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, Nancy Sinatra, The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison and many others has passed away aged 83.
Elvis Presley Enterprises announced the news of Tutt's passing via social media, stating "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."
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. (Reposted from @VisitGraceland) pic.twitter.com/RQPsuxTqibOctober 17, 2021
While no cause of death was mentioned in the post, Ronnie is survived by his wife, Donna, who told TMZ that he died at home of natural causes, having suffered with a heart condition, adding "He couldn't play another drum lick".
Born in Dallas, Texas, Tutt became Elvis's drummer as a founding member of the TCB (Taking Care of Business) band in 1969 alongside guitarists James Burton and John Wilkinson, bassist Jerry Scheff and keyboard player Larry Muhoberac. The King put together the group as his backing band for the start of his legendary run in Las Vegas, and the band remained with him until his death in 1977, when the group also disbanded.
During these years, Tutt, Burton and Muhoberac were enlisted by Johnny Cash and producer Gary Klein to record his album, John R Cash, as well as forming the Jerry Garcia Band with the Grateful Dead frontman. Tutt also played drums for Neil Diamond, as well as Billy Joel, recording drums on The Piano Man and Streetlife Serenade, including hits singles, Piano Man, The Ballad of Billy The Kid and The Entertainer.
Tutt told Rolling Stone in 2017, “I just remember the good things, that’s for sure. You got to,” he said. “I just remember laughing a lot and having a good time musically, so I have nothing but good memories.”
Stars pay tribute to Ron Tutt
I’m very sad to hear of the death of Ronnie Tutt.He played on the original recording of ‘Piano Man’ in 1973 and most of the other songs on that album.Ron was a power drummer who also played with finesse. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/RPFt7C4WfAOctober 18, 2021
His timing was impeccable and he played his drum parts to the lyrics, as well as the music in any song he played on. His live performances with Elvis Presley were legendary.He will be greatly missed.- Billy Joel(2/2)October 18, 2021
The legendary Ron Tutt has passed away. 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. pic.twitter.com/lFM8klsh0ROctober 17, 2021
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. Fare thee well and thank you sir. 📷: Richard Loren pic.twitter.com/aXFcitBJ3VOctober 17, 2021
Saddened to learn about the passing of Ronnie Tutt yesterday 10/16/2021. Ronnie played drums for Elvis as part of the TCB Band from 1969 until 1977.Ronnie Tutt was also the drummer for Roy Orbison’s “Black and White Night” concert. Thank you for the music Ron#ronnietutt pic.twitter.com/FzRchEoGTZOctober 17, 2021