Ronnie Tutt, a drummer for Elvis Presley, 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.
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. (Reposted from @VisitGraceland) pic.twitter.com/RQPsuxTqib
— Elvis Presley (@ElvisPresley) October 17, 2021
“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.”
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. #RIP
— Rob Brydon (@RobBrydon) October 17, 2021
The Oak Ridge Boys called Tutt “one of the greatest drummers to have ever lived”, while musician Tanya Tucker added that the musician was “one of favourite touring drummers”.
— The Oak Ridge Boys (@oakridgeboys) October 17, 2021
My heart is broken. One of My favorite touring drummers, TCB Ronnie Tutt has his wings now… Always wanted my drummers to resemble that Ronnie Tutt sound! I loved the way he played & of course I loved @ElvisPresley!!! ❤️🥁
— Tanya Tucker (@tanyatucker) October 17, 2021
See more tributes below.
We just heard the news that Ronnie Tutt passed away today (10/16/21) at age 83. Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and all those who were influenced and whose lives were enriched by his amazing talents.
Thank you for the music, Ron. pic.twitter.com/Bo0kLC7NUW
— TCBCast (@TCBCast) October 17, 2021
Not the most famous but the most influential person is my father-in-law, "On the drums, the hardworking Ronnie Tutt." This legendary drummer has done it all, Elvis, Black and White Night, Neil Diamond and so much more. All while being an incredible father and family man. Legend. https://t.co/Gcv0FtjfLj pic.twitter.com/VsPWMArN8Y
— Hilary Myatt (@BadMomzilla) September 23, 2021
RIP Ronnie Tutt. Can't believe you have gone. 😭😭 Thank you for your brilliant talent and passion for music! You will be missed! Fly high Ronnie xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx pic.twitter.com/UW6l38zOA1
— Jenna Mary Orchard (@Guinevere130302) October 17, 2021
— Dennis Faught (@dfaught76) October 17, 2021
Incredibly sad news coming in for the Elvis World.Ronnie Tutt has passed away in the USA and is now backing Elvis in his heavenly band.
Ronnie was Elvis’ drummer throughout the Vegas and concert years, his driving style and the way he accompanied every move and twitch by Elvis🙏 pic.twitter.com/KoTuElBCbN
— Mark ELVIS Goddard (@GBsBestElvis) October 17, 2021
This is like Elvis playing the drums thru Ronnie. What a team. They seemed to enjoy it as these clips show. RiP hard-working Ronnie Tutt 🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁 https://t.co/7QeGs3eSiy
— Noble Elvis 🎶👑🎵🎤🎸👑 (@elbonekim) October 17, 2021