Photo: Ronnie Tutt (from his Facebook page) 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. 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.

Ronnie Tutt played drums for Elvis as part of the TCB Band from 1969 until 1977. He was part of the band put together by James Burton for Elvis’ 1969 Las Vegas opening – and stayed with Elvis until his death in 1977. Ronnie later toured with Neil Diamond’s band. He also recorded and performed with the likes of Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Elvis Costello, Stevie Nicks, Michael McDonald, among others.

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.

~ Tom E. Marzullo’s Production Friends – Elvis

• • • • • • • • • •

Ronald Ellis Tutt (83) (March 12, 1938 – October 16, 2021) was an American drummer who played concerts and recording sessions for Elvis Presley, the Carpenters, Roy Orbison, Neil Diamond, and Jerry Garcia.

Born in Dallas, Texas, United States, Tutt was a native Texan and was involved with music and performing arts for most of his childhood.

Tutt played for the TCB Band (“Taking Care of Business”), the Elvis Presley touring and recording band, upon the recommendation of TCB keyboardist Larry Muhoberac.

Tutt played on Billy Joel’s second and third albums. He played on the breakthrough 1973 album, Piano Man (all tracks but “Captain Jack”) and 1974’s Streetlife Serenade. Other musician’s albums Tutt played on include Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons.

Around early 1974, Tutt began recording and touring with the Jerry Garcia Band, and also Jerry Garcia’s and Merl Saunders’ brief Legion of Mary. Starting with Garcia’s studio album Compliments (1974), Tutt played drums for the Jerry Garcia Band for four years before moving on. During this time, Tutt also played drums on Garcia’s studio albums Reflections (1976) and Cats Under the Stars (1978). In 1982, however, Tutt returned to the studio with Garcia to help record Run for the Roses.

After the TCB Band disbanded upon Presley’s death and a number of years recording and touring (1974–78) with Garcia, Tutt was invited by Neil Diamond to become Diamond’s permanent concert and recording session drummer.


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Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths…

Sadly, more deaths from COVID. Please get vaccinated – not so much for you but for your loved ones – or for that older stranger that you may have accidently exposed ‘cause you’re a “carrier” and don’t know it. Truly may save your life and theirs. If you want to know more about any of the musicians we lost this past week, please check out http://www.wikipedia.com

October 2021

20: Vladimir Mikhailov, 79, Russian composer and conductor.

19: Leslie Bricusse, 90, British composer (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory), lyricist (“Goldfinger”, “You Only Live Twice”) and playwright, Oscar winner (1968, 1983); Hanuš Domanský, 77, Slovak composer.

18: Franco Cerri, 95, Italian jazz guitarist; Edita Gruberová, 74, Slovak operatic soprano; Concha Márquez Piquer [es], 75, Spanish actress and singer, pneumonia; Lloyd Willis, 73, Jamaican session guitarist and songwriter (“Tease Me”).

17: Bruce Gaston, 74, American Thai classical musician, liver cancer.

16: Tom Gray, 70, American musician (The Brains, Delta Moon) and songwriter (“Money Changes Everything”), cancer; Alan Hawkshaw, 84, British composer (Grange Hill, Countdown, Channel 4 News) and keyboard player, pneumonia; Betty Lynn, 95, American actress (The Andy Griffith Show, Cheaper by the Dozen, Meet Me in Las Vegas. USO singer); Ron Tutt, 83, American drummer (Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Roy Orbison).

15: Willie Garnett, 85, British saxophonist; Regi Hargis, 70, American funk musician (Brick); Pornsak Songsaeng, 60, Thai luk thung and mor lam singer, heart attack.

14: Emani 22, 22, American R&B singer, injuries sustained in an accident; Phil Leadbetter, 59, American resonator guitar player, COVID-19; Tom Morey, 86, American musician, engineer, and surfboard shaper.

13: Andrea Haugen, 52, German singer (Cradle of Filth), writer and model, arrow wounds; Bela Rudenko, 88, Russian music educator.

12: Paddy Moloney, 83, Irish musician (The Chieftains) and producer.

11: Misko Barbara [uk], 49, Ukrainian singer (Dead Rooster) and actor; Lukas David, 87, Austrian violinist; Kenneth Essex, 101, British violist (“Yesterday”); Deon Estus, 65, American bassist and vocalist (Wham!, George Michael); Guntis Skrastinš, 67, Latvian actor and singer.


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