Rick Nelson, Rock n Roll Pioneer

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Mar 02, Ashley rated it liked it Shelves: Anyone who is familiar with Rick Nelson should pick it up as it is an interesting book but I'm not certain that younger readers will enjoy it as much. When I read books like this about a musician, actor, political figure I read them to learn more about the private lives of these people. I want to delve into the family history, personal conflict, and deep personal lives rather than the public persona that is already so well-known.

His career was no-doubt impressive and Homer recounts it well in her book. Jan 03, Sara rated it really liked it. Always have liked Rick Nelson's '50s, '60s, and '70s music.

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Rick Nelson, Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer

This bio is short and sweet, but definitely written by a fan who appreciated how overlooked and underappreciated Nelson's music was in his lif Always have liked Rick Nelson's '50s, '60s, and '70s music. This bio is short and sweet, but definitely written by a fan who appreciated how overlooked and underappreciated Nelson's music was in his lifetime.

Mar 03, Debbie Maskus rated it it was ok. I was elated to win a copy of this book, and the book is a great introduction into the life of Rick Nelson. I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures supplied by Kristin Harmon Nelson, and Kristin's tidbits of information.


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I enjoyed seeing Rick Nelson right before his tragic death in a plane crash, and was heart broken to learn of this tragedy. Homer does an excellent job bringing in the various music legends and their influence of Rick Nelson's music.

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Judy Price rated it liked it Apr 21, Roger rated it it was ok Mar 24, Ellen rated it liked it Apr 24, Trine rated it it was amazing Feb 05, Janet Marie rated it really liked it Dec 01, Cathy A Jacobs rated it liked it Sep 23, Sammy the Bookworm rated it really liked it Aug 28, Angela marked it as to-read Nov 05, Raymond marked it as to-read Jul 16, Rory marked it as to-read Jul 16, Sadie marked it as to-read May 27, That sort of thing can be very frightening!

Nelson was the first teen idol to utilize television to promote hit records. Ozzie Nelson even had the idea to edit footage together to create some of the first music videos. This creative editing can be seen in videos Ozzie produced for "Travelin' Man. He also appeared on other television shows usually in acting roles. In , he had an acting role in an episode of The Streets of San Francisco. Nelson knew and loved music and was a skilled performer even before he became a teen idol , largely because of his parents' musical background.

Nelson's music was very well recorded with a clear, punchy sound—thanks in part to engineer Bunny Robyn and producer Jimmy Haskell. From to , Nelson had 30 Top hits, more than any other artist except Presley who had 53 and Pat Boone Many of Nelson's early records were double hits with both the A and B sides hitting the Billboard charts. In addition to his recording career, Nelson appeared in movies.

On May 8, his 21st birthday , he officially modified his recording name from "Ricky Nelson" to "Rick Nelson".

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His childhood nickname proved hard to shake, especially among the generation who had watched him grow up on "Ozzie and Harriet". Even in the s, when Nelson realized his dream of meeting Carl Perkins , Perkins noted that he and "Ricky" were the last of the "rockabilly breed. In , Nelson signed a year contract with Decca Records. After some early successes with the label, most notably 's "For You" 6 , Nelson's chart career came to a dramatic halt in the wake of Beatlemania and The British Invasion. In the mids, Nelson began to move towards country music , becoming a pioneer in the country-rock genre.

He was one of the early influences of the so-called " California Sound " which would include singers like Jackson Browne and Linda Ronstadt and bands such as Eagles. In , Nelson reached the Top 40 one last time with " Garden Party ", a song he wrote in disgust after a Richard Nader Oldies Concert at Madison Square Garden where the audience booed, perhaps against some unrelated police action. However, Nelson may have felt that the reason was because he was playing new songs instead of just his old hits.

He returned to the stage and played his "oldies" and the audience responded with applause, according to Deborah Nader, President of Richard Nader Entertainment. He wanted to record an album featuring original material, but the single was released before the album because Nelson had not completed the entire Garden Party album yet.


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The second single released from the album was "Palace Guard" which peaked at Nelson was with MCA at the time, and his comeback was short-lived. Nelson's band soon resigned, and MCA wanted Nelson to have a producer on his next album. Nelson still played nightclubs and bars, but he soon advanced to higher-paying venues because of the success of Garden Party. In MCA was at odds as to what to do with the former teen idol. Albums like Windfall failed to have an impact.

Nelson became an attraction at theme parks like Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland. He also started appearing in minor roles on television shows. Nelson tried to score another hit but did not have any luck with songs like "Rock and Roll Lady. In , when Nelson was 17, he met and fell in love with Marianne Gaba , who played the role of Ricky's girlfriend in three episodes of Ozzie and Harriet. The next year, Nelson fell in love with year-old Lorrie Collins , a country singer appearing on a weekly telecast called Town Hall Party.

Collins appeared in an Ozzie and Harriet episode as Ricky's girlfriend and sang "Just Because" with him in the musical finale. She had certain expectations for Ricky's personal life as well as his career. At the age of 45, Nelson said the only girl he ever really loved was involved with him for two years in the late s. They married on April 20, Kris was pregnant, [77] and Rick later described the union as a " shotgun wedding ". By , following the birth of their last child, the marriage had deteriorated and a very public, controversial divorce involving both families was covered in the press for several years.

In October , Kris filed for divorce and asked for alimony, custody of their four children, and a portion of community property.

Ricky Nelson - Wikipedia

The couple temporarily resolved their differences, but Kris retained her attorney to pursue a permanent break. Kris became an alcoholic and left the children in the care of household help. She was the only woman he dated after his divorce. Blair acted as personal assistant to Nelson, organizing his day and acting as a liaison for his fan club, [88] but Nelson's mother, brother, business manager, and manager disapproved of her presence in his life. Her name was never mentioned at Nelson's funeral. Nelson did not provide for Blair in his will.

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In , Nelson began a "Comeback tour" with Fats Domino. He put the "y" back on his name and became "Ricky" again. He sang the songs for which he was famous and released a greatest hits album, Ricky Nelson: His comeback was cut short when, while on the tour circuit, his plane crashed on New Year's Eve. Nelson dreaded flying but refused to travel by bus.

The plane had been plagued by a history of mechanical problems. On December 26, , Nelson and the band left for a three-stop tour of the southern United States. CST on December 31, , hitting trees on its way down. Seven of the nine occupants were killed: Nelson's remains were misdirected in transit from Texas to California, delaying the funeral for several days.

I'm Walkin Fats Domino RIP

On January 6, , mourners entered the Church of the Hills for funeral services while fans gathered outside. Kris Nelson threatened to sue the Nelson clan for her former husband's life insurance money and tried to wrest control of his estate from David Nelson, its administrator. Her bid was rejected by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.

Nelson bequeathed his entire estate to his children and did not provide for Kris Nelson. Only days after the funeral, rumors and newspaper reports suggested cocaine freebasing was one of several possible causes for the plane crash. Reports vary as to whether or not the plane was on fire before it crashed. According to witnesses, the plane appeared to be on fire before it crash-landed. However, Jim Burnett, then-chairman of the NTSB, said that even though the plane was filled with smoke, it landed and came to a stop before it was swallowed by flames.

According to co-pilot Ferguson, the cabin heater was acting up after the plane took off. Ferguson continued that Rank kept going to the back of the plane to see if he could get the heater to function correctly and that Rank told Ferguson several times to turn the heater back on. He continued, "I was getting more nervous.

Rick Nelson, Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer (Electronic book text)

I didn't think we should be messing with that heater en route. They shouted to the passenger cabin, but there was no response. Ferguson and Rank backed away from the plane, fearing explosion. Ferguson stated that Rank told him, "Don't tell anyone about the heater, don't tell anyone about the heater. Pilot Rank, however, told a different story: