Elvis Presley’s TCB Band and Back Up Singers

image001When Elvis Presley committed to returning to live concert performances in 1969, he needed to recruit, along with back-up singers and other show members, a new core rhythm group. The new players would eventually become known as The TCB Band, a nod to the ‘Taking Care of Business’ slogan and logo Elvis had adopted for his personal and professional life.

By this time, his bassist from the 50’s, Bill Black, had passed away. His lead guitar player, Scotty Moore, and his drummer, D.J. Fontana, were busy with session work.


Elvis’ first live concert engagement was to be a four-week run at the new International Hotel in Las Vegas beginning on July 31, 1969 and he asked James Burton to assemble a list of players to form his backing rock band. By mid-July 1969, the group was assembled – and approved – and consisted of: James Burton (lead guitar), Larry Muhoberac (piano), Jerry Scheff (bass), Ronnie Tutt(drums) and John Wilkinson (rhythm guitar).

In addition there was an ensemble of back up singers and orchestra.

The Sweet Inspirations originally comprised of: Cissy Houston, (mother of superstar Whitney) Sylvia ShernwellMyrna Smith and Estelle Brown. From August 1970, Ann Williams replaced Cissy Houston.

Millie Kirkham – High voice singer. Kathy Westmoreland also took over from Millie Kirkham as the high voice singer during the August / September 1970  engagment.

Bobby Morris conducted a 30 strong orchestra. Another major change Another major change occurred during the August / September 1970 engagement, this time Joe Guercio and his orchestra took up a permanent place in the lineup.

Charlie Hodge who would be with Elvis from 1969-1977.

The Imperials Quartet; Jake Hess, Jim Murray, Gary McSpadden, Armond Morales. In November 1971, J.D. Sumner and The Stamps Quartet (Donnie Sumner, Bill Baize, Ed Enoch, Richard Sterban (Ed Wideman) replaced ‘The Imperials Quartet’. Larry Strickland joined ‘The Stamps’ in 1974.

In January 1974, Dave Rowland replaced Donnie Sumner in The Stamps Quartet and a new group was formed and named, Voice by Elvis. Others to appear in the ‘Stamps Quartet’ line up (From 1976) were; Ron Booth, Pat Brown and Buck Buckles, with Buck Buckles staying until the final tour in

Over the years 1970-77 there were several changes to the TCB Band and we document them in this article.




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