Ronnie Tutt, Drumming Legend With Presley’s TCB Band, Dies

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Ronnie Tutt at a 1977 Elvis Presley concert

Ron Tutt, a monster drummer for Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Jerry Garcia, and many others, died October 16, 2021. News of the legendary musician’s passing at age 83 was announced by his Facebook fan page. While in his thirties, Tutt, known to many as Ronnie, was a core member of Presley’s TCB Band along with James Burton, among others, from the late ’60s until the King’s passing in 1977. The acronym stood for Taking Care of Business.

Tutt’s death was confirmed by his daughter, Tina Dempsey, who wrote in part, “Humble, loving, talented, god loving, loving father & husband are all words that come to mind when describing my dad. We will hear him in music forever. Rock n roll in heaven dad, miss you already!”

Watch Tutt do a drum solo at a 1977 Presley concert

Priscilla Presley penned a tribute which said, in part, “Rest In Peace my friend. Your sweet soul and great talent captured us all. Elvis always bragged how you intuitively could keep up with his stage moves. Even when he tried to trick you. 🙂 ”

Tutt went on to become a much in-demand drummer. He performed on Billy Joel’s 1973 breakthrough second album, Piano Man, as well as its follow-up.

The following year, he joined the Jerry Garcia Band, recording and touring with them for most of their ’70s work. He also appeared on recordings by Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, among others.

In the ’80s, he contributed to albums from Elvis Costello and Neil Diamond, and became an essential part of the latter’s touring band for four decades. Diamond posted a tribute to Tutt on Oct. 17, noting, “He was truly one of the all-time greats in Rock and Roll.”

Watch Tutt perform with Diamond on “Cherry, Cherry” in 2012

Tutt joined his fellow TCB Band members James Burton, Glenn D. Hardin, and Jerry Scheff as the backing band for the 1988 television special, Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night.

Related: Musicians we’ve lost in 2021

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  1. RecordSteve
    #1 RecordSteve 17 October, 2021, 16:40

    Another musical talent joins the “Rock & Roll
    Heaven”=time to update that song from The
    Righteous Brothers someone….
    RIP Ronnie c’ya on the flip side= thanks for the
    beat & Taking Care of Business (TCB).

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