The news was confirmed on Facebook by his son, David Fontana, and his wife, Karen Fontana. Karen confirmed the death on Thursday, telling the Associated Press that her husband died in his sleep in Nashville on Wednesday night. She said he’d been suffering complications from breaking his hip in 2016.
Dominica, a member of the Rock Hall of Fame played the drums with Presley from 1954-68. Fontana was there for Presley’s first wave of success, from hit singles like Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock to his live shows and hip-shaking appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and other TV programs. He played on many soundtracks and was occasionally seen on camera.
Born in 1931, Dominic Joseph Fontana began playing drums as a teen in his high school marching band and would jam with his cousin while listening to big-band recordings. By his early 20s, he performed at strip joints and spent enough time around the Hayride that he was hired full time.