Music News: D.J. Fontana, original Elvis drummer, dies at 87

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DJ Fontana performs in Memphis in 2002.
DJ Fontana performs in Memphis in 2002. (Mario Tama/Gettty Images)

Drummer D.J. Fontana has died, peacefully in his sleep, at age 87. Fontana was a member of Elvis Presley’s original band, playing on iconic singles like "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," and "Jailhouse Rock." He played with Presley on the scandalous Ed Sullivan Show appearance in 1956, and rejoined the King for his 1968 "comeback" special.

In addition to his work with Presley, the Louisiana native was a busy session drummer who played with the likes of Paul McCartney, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 — and he was the last surviving member of Presley's original band, which also included guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. (Rolling Stone)

Ryan Adams turns weatherman

Apparently Ryan Adams has always wanted to be a TV weatherman. He got his chance by striking a deal with Denver's ABC affiliate in association with a Thursday night concert at Red Rocks. Adams wrote and recorded a song about becoming a TV weatherman at the station Denver7, the song was released with an animated video, and then Adams went on the evening news and stood in front of the green screen to tell Centennial State residents how the weather was looking. His style of forecasting was...well, loose. (NPR)

Detroit cancels Michael Jackson street renaming

Detroit has canceled plans to rename a downtown street in honor of Michael Jackson. The reason? The King of Pop's brothers were under the impression the street would be renamed in order of all of them...but city law forbids the renaming of a street in honor of groups of people collectively. So instead, the city will do "something" for the Jackson 5, and nothing for Michael Jackson individually, when the group's surviving four members perform on Saturday as part of Detroit Music Weekend. (Billboard)

Polaris Prize longlist revealed

With U.S. Girls slated to perform this Saturday at Rock the Garden, leader Meghan Remy has just received the welcome news that her album In a Poem Unlimited is on the longlist of finalists for Canada's prestigious annual Polaris Prize.

Among the 39 other finalist albums are releases by Arcade Fire, Gord Downie, and Alvvays. As Pitchfork notes, the most notable omissions are albums by Broken Social Scene, the Weeknd, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

The Polaris shortlist will be revealed on July 17, followed by the award gala on Sept. 17.

Hear "Weird Al" cover 77 songs

"Weird Al" Yankovic has just wrapped up a long tour, and he's released a supercut of 77 different songs he covered along the way. Among them are hits by David Bowie ("Rebel Rebel"), Talking Heads ("Psycho Killer"), and Smash Mouth ("All Star"). (Pitchfork)


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