WS “Fluke” Holland, who played drums for Johnny Cash and early Carl Perkins classics like “Blue Suede Shoes,” died Wednesday at age 85. The musician passed away at his home in Jackson, Tennessee, after battling a brief illness, according to WBBJ-TV 7.
In 1960 he became a member of Johnny Cash’s band and remained in that line-up until 1997, playing on numerous albums (including 1964’s I Walk the Line and 1968’s At Folsom Prison). Cash gave Holland the nickname “Father of Drums”, introducing him with that nickname on stage.
Over the years, he also performed with artists such as: Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, and Waylon Jennings, among others. He also ran his own band until 2019.
In 2017, after winning a Lifetime Achievement Award nomination from Tennessee Music Network, W.S. “Fluke” Holland told Cornwall Seeker:
“I’m really thankful; it means so much to me. All I did for 63 years now was sit on a stool and play drums behind somebody singing the songs, and they became big stars.”