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18 October 2021

Ronnie Tutt, Drummer For Elvis Presley, Jerry Garcia, Dies At 83

Ronnie Tutt Elvis Presley Drummer Dies 83
Photo: John Kondes/Globe Photos/ZUMA Press
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Ronnie Tutt, formerly the drummer for Elvis Presley’s TCB Band, the Jerry Garcia Band and more, has died aged 83, it has been confirmed.

The musician was born in Dallas, Texas in 1938 and was an original member of Presley’s TCB Band, which was formed in 1969. No cause of death has been made public at present.

His daughter Terie Tutt confirmed her father’s death in a Facebook post earlier today (October 17), saying he had died at home surrounded by family. “It’s with deep sadness that my family and I share the loss of our beloved dad,” Terie wrote. “The Legendary Drummer, Ronnie Tutt, ‘has left the building.’”

Yesterday (October 16), Elvis Presley Enterprises also paid tribute to the drummer on the Graceland website. “All of us with Elvis Presley Enterprises were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ronnie Tutt,” the message read. “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.”

As well as drumming for Presley in his 1968 comeback special, in the TCB Band and at his 1969 Las Vegas opening show and other residencies, Tutt also performed with the first line-up of the Jerry Garcia Band.

He also went on to become a coveted touring and session musician, backing the likes of Neil Diamond, Gram Parsons, Elvis Costello, and Johnny Cash. He also appeared on Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks’ only studio album as a duo, Buckingham Nicks.

Tributes have begun to be paid by friends, family and fans on social media. Actor and comedian Rob Brydon wrote: “So sad to hear that the great Ronnie Tutt has died. What a drummer. I was lucky enough to work with him on the Neil Diamond at The Palladium show we did for ITV. I still have the drumsticks he gave me as he came offstage.”

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