Ronnie Tutt, Drummer for Elvis, Dies at Franklin Home

Ronnie Tutt
photo from Drummer World

Ronnie Tutt, the drummer for Elvis and the Jerry Garcia Band, died on Saturday at his Franklin home, reported The Music Universe.

Tutt was 83, and his wife, Donna said he died of natural causes at home surrounded by his family on Saturday, October 16.

In a social media post, Elvis Presley Enterprises shared about the passing of Tutt, “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. We enjoyed each time he joined us at Elvis Presley’s Graceland 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.”

Tutt played drums for Elvis as part of the Taking Care of Business band from 1969 to 1977, he also toured with Neil Diamond and the Jerry Garcia Band.  In addition, he recorded with Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Glen Campbell, Elvis Costello, Stevie Nicks, Michael McDonald, and more.

Neil Diamond reflected on Tutt’s passing in a social media post, “Our dear friend and bandmate, 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. Your wonderful talent will live on as the backbeat to the music of our lives. Give my regards to Elvis, I’m sure he’s glad to get the band back together. We love you, Ronnie.”

Michael McDonald shared a memory of Tutt on social media, “Ron Tutt was the first drummer I was blessed to work with upon arriving in LA when I was eighteen at RCA studios on a session with producer Rick Jarrard. I went on to record the whole album with Ron. He was brilliant of course but also kind and patient with a young, inexperienced piano player who had no business being in the rhythm section that day. It was Ron Tutt, Jerry Scheff, and James Burton. We recorded a version of the Elton John/ Bernie Taupin song ‘Take Me To The Pilot.’ I’m grateful to Rick Jarrard for giving me the opportunity to work with these talented and kind men. I’m not sure I deserved such a privilege but it began a long education. Thanks for the patient and kind encouragement and example Ron. RIP my friend”

No further information has been released regarding visitation or memorial service.


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