Elvis' musicians get Rock and Roll honor - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

Elvis' musicians get Rock and Roll honor

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Two of Elvis Presley's band members are set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in just a couple of months.  Elvis' bass guitarist Bill Black and drummer DJ Fontana will be among those included in this select group of musical royalty. 

Bill Black's children, Louis and Nancy, say it a well deserved honor.  To them, the bass guitar is their key to history.

"Daddy wasn't just a musician...he was a friend to a lot of these people," Louis Black said.

"To me, he was Daddy.  He'd come home with his bass, set his bass down, he'd hug his kids and spend as much time as he could with us," daughter Nancy Black Shockley added.

Black, played bass on early Elvis Presley recordings including Heartbreak Hotel, That¹S All Right Mama, Hound Dog, and Jailhouse Rock. Now, nearly 45 years after his death, Bill Black is getting the recognition his children say he deserves.

"I'm thrilled," Louis Black said. "It's been a long time coming."

Black was known for his humor, and would always warm up the crowds before Elvis came out on stage.  His children believe a God-given talent for music helped him lay the groundwork for an international superstar.

"Bill Black and Scottie Moore were the stabilizing force behind the young man from Tupelo, Mississippi, as he rode the wave to stardom," Nancy Black Shockley said.

Bill Black's music touched many, including a former Beatle. In 2007, Nancy traveled to London to meet Beatle Paul McCartney and see one of the famed bass guitars that once belonged to her father.

As Black's children prepare to represent their father, they waste no time in saluting his short but monumental musical career.

"Its like 'mission accomplished,'" Louis Black said. "Finally we got him there, because I think he deserved it all the time."

Fontana will accompany Black's children to Cleveland, Ohio for the induction ceremony, which is set to take place on Saturday, April 4th.

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