Ricky Nelson
Biografías - Pioneros del Rock & Roll


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Uno de los miles de recopilatorios del grandísimo Ricky Nelson, cantante que empezó en los años 50 cantando rockabilly, tipo Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, etc...
Editado en 1995, es una de esas recopilaciones de una colección llamada "The Original", que acostumbran a estar muy bien de precio, y contienen bastantes canciones, en este caso, tiene 18 de las canciones más famosas de Ricky Nelson, fallecido en mitad de los años 80 en un accidente de aviación, una gran pérdida, ya que seguia siendo joven, y en aquella época, todavía daba grandes conciertos ya que estaba en muy buena forma tanto física, como musical...

Aunque estuvo alrededor de 30 años en el mundo de la música (combinanod su faceta de actor en películas como "Rio Bravo" un gran western!!!), este recopilatorio se centra más en sus principios, que también es la faceta más conocida de Nelson... entr otros grandes músicos de la época, contaba con James Burton, un gran guitarrista que formó parte de la banda de Elvis Presley en los últimos años del Rey, en los conciertos de Las Vegas, etc... sobre el estilo, pues algunos temas son puro rockabilly, y otros más baladas de amor, ya que la dulce voz de Ricky Nelson, se prestaba a este tipo de canciones, para jovenes enamorados de los años 50.

Algunos de sus temas:

- Poor Little Fool
- Stood Up
- Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)
- Be True To Me
- Thank You Darling
- Young World
- Have I Told You Lately (That I Love You)
- Never Be Anyone Els But You
- Teenage Idol
- Be-Bop Baby
- It's Up To You
- Just A Little Too Much
- A Wonder Like You
- Young Emotions
- I Got Feeling
- It's Late
- Sweeter Than You
- Believe What You Say


Ricky Nelson:
Early years

Born in Teaneck, New Jersey to a Swedish-American family, he was the younger son of Ozzie Nelson, the leader of a big band, and Harriet Hilliard Nelson, the band's singer. Along with brother David Nelson, the family starred in the long-running radio and television series The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet from 1944 to 1954 on the radio, and 1952 to 1966 on television. However, David and Ricky Nelson did not join the cast until 1949; for the first five years of the radio show, the sons were played by professional actors.


Ricky Nelson began a rock and roll music career in 1957. He recorded his debut single, the Fats Domino song "I'm Walkin'", seeking to impress a date who was an Elvis Presley fan — Nelson's first song was a hit, reaching #4 on the charts. Soon, each episode of the Ozzie & Harriet television show ended with a musical performance by "Ricky". It was during the sitcom's run that Ozzie Nelson, either as a move to keep his son's fans tuned in each week, or as an affirmation of his reputed behind-the-scenes persona as a control freak, kept Ricky from appearing on other TV shows that arguably would have enhanced his public profile, American Bandstand and The Ed Sullivan Show in particular. Ironically, Rick finally did appear on the Sullivan show in 1967, but his career was at that time in limbo. Rick also appeared on other TV shows (usually in acting roles); in 1977, he guest-hosted on Saturday Night Live where he proved to be a good sport in spoofing his TV sitcom image, by appearing in a Twilight Zone send-up, where, trying to go "home", he'd find himself among the characters from other 1950s/early 60s-era sitcoms, Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best, and Make Room For Daddy.

Despite the promotional aspects of his career, it is clear that Nelson knew and loved music, and was a credible performer before he became a teen idol, largely due to his parents' musical background. In addition to guitar, he also played drums (as it happened, the same episode where he made his singing debut, also showcased his drum skills); along with the clarinet (his father's main instrument was saxophone, but Ozzie also played banjo and tenor guitar; he sat in with that instrument during Rick's recording of "Hello, Mary Lou"). Unlike many teen idols of the time, Nelson showed his personal taste in working with strong musicians, including James Burton, Joe Maphis, The Jordanaires, and Johnny and Dorsey Burnette. While Elvis may have served as the catalyst for Rick's musical career, his real inspiration came from none other than Carl Perkins.
One of Ricky Nelson's biggest hits Hello Mary Lou / Travelin' Man
One of Ricky Nelson's biggest hits Hello Mary Lou / Travelin' Man

From 1957 to 1962, Nelson had 30 top 40 hits, more than any other artist at the time, except Elvis Presley (who had 53) and Pat Boone (who had 38). Many of Nelson's early records were double hits with both the A side and the B side hitting the Billboard charts. When Billboard introduced the Hot 100 chart on August 4, 1958, Nelson's single "Poor Little Fool" became the first song ever in the #1 position on that chart.

While Nelson preferred rockabilly and uptempo rock songs like "Hello Mary Lou", "It's Late", "Stood Up", and "Be-Bop Baby", his smooth, calm voice made him a natural to sing ballads. He had major success with "Travelin' Man", "Poor Little Fool", "Young World", "Lonesome Town", and "Teenage Idol", which clearly could have been about Nelson himself at the time. (It was Life magazine that reputedly coined the phrase "teen idol" in an article it did about the young musical star in 1959).

In addition to his recording career, Nelson also appeared in movies, including Rio Bravo with John Wayne and Dean Martin (1959) The Wackiest Ship In the Army (1960) and Love and Kisses (1965).

On May 8, 1961 (his 21st birthday), Nelson officially changed his recording name from "Ricky Nelson" to "Rick Nelson". However, not too long before his untimely death, Rick realized a dream of his, when he met his idol, Carl Perkins, who while musing that they were the last of the "rockabilly breed," Mr. Perkins called Nelson "Ricky." As the story goes, Nelson, figuring that Perkins calling him by the name he stopped using at age 21, made for some sense of validation. He then contacted his manager, who was then instructed to add the "y" to his name[citation needed].

In 1963, Nelson signed a 20-year contract with Decca Records, but he had no further major hits after 1964's "For You". In the mid-1960s, he began to move towards country music, and has been considered a pioneer in the country-rock genre, and as a result, one of the early influences of the so-called "California Sound" (which would include singers like Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, and other bands like The Eagles) yet did not reach the Top 40 again until 1970, when he recorded Bob Dylan's "She Belongs To Me" with the Stone Canyon Band. This most likely included drummer Kevin Edwards, who still lives to tell his story today. In 1972, Nelson reached the top 40 one last time with "Garden Party", a song he wrote in disgust after a Madison Square Garden audience booed him when he tried playing new songs instead of just his old hits from the 1950s and 1960s. "Garden Party" reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and was certified as a gold single. (Coincidentally, "Garden Party" was a hit at the same time Elvis Presley was having his last top 10 single, "Burning Love", as was Chuck Berry with "My Ding-a-Ling"; Berry is among the musicians alluded to in the lyrics of "Garden Party".)

However, Nelson never regained his career's momentum. By the late-1970s, Nelson's life was in shambles. He was heavily in debt. After a highly tumultuous marriage (which was the antithesis of what the public had seen on "O&H" and in the movie, Love and Kisses his wife filed for divorce and took their four children. He wasn't making records and when he played live at all, it was in very small, insignificant venues. Nelson began using drugs, especially marijuana, and eventually, cocaine.

Marriage and Family

In April 1963, he married Kristin Harmon in what Life Magazine referred to as "The Wedding of the Year." Kristin Harmon is the daughter of Football All-American University of Michigan football legend and Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon and actress Elyse Knox, and is the older sister of movie and television star Mark Harmon, perhaps known best for the hit series "NCIS."

They had one daughter,Tracy (born October 25, 1963), twin sons Gunnar and Matthew (born September 20, 1967), and a third son, Sam Nelson (born August 29, 1974).


In 1985, he joined a nostalgia rock tour of England. It was a major success, and it revived some interest in Nelson. He tried to duplicate that effect in the United States, and he began a tour of the South. While on that tour, he died in a plane crash in De Kalb, Texas in 1985; he was on his way to a New Year's Eve concert in Dallas, Texas. Nelson was interred in the Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. The last song he sang on stage before his death was Buddy Holly's "Rave On."

Rumors that drug use among the passengers caused the crash frequently resurface, but the original NTSB investigation long ago stated that the crash was probably due to mechanical problems. An examination indicated the fire originated in the right hand side of the aft cabin area at or near the floor line. The ignition and fuel sources could not be determined, although many believe that the most likely cause was a defective cabin heater. The pilot indicated that the crew tried to turn on the cabin heater repeatedly shortly before the fire occurred, but that it failed to respond. After the fire, the access panel to the heater compartment was found unlatched. The theory is supported by records that showed that DC-3s in general, and this aircraft in particular, had a previous history of problems with the cabin heaters.


Nelson was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and also to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1515 Vine Street.

His twin sons, Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, also were teen idols, performing as Nelson (who had a few hits of their own in the late 1980's, including Love and Affection which went to #1.) and continue touring; and his daughter, Tracy Nelson, is an actress and cancer survivor. She may be best known for her role in the television series Father Dowling Mysteries, which starred Tom Bosley. Nelson's youngest son, Sam Nelson, is an actor and singer.

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of his passing, PBS aired a one hour documentary entitled "Ricky Nelson Sings", featuring interviews with his children, as well as James Burton and Kris Kristofferson. The only time Kris Kristofferson played with Ricky Nelson was in Elroy, Wisconsin at Party in the Park July 3, 1985. It has since been released on DVD.

The song "Ricky" (originally titled 'Ricky Nelson') , track 4 on John Frusciante's 2004 album Shadows Collide With People, is a tribute to Nelson, and is sung in a similar style.

Bob Dylan, in his 2004 memoir, Chronicles, Vol. 1, wrote about Nelson's influence on his music. Also in 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Nelson #91 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[1]

On December 27, 2005, EMI Music released an album titled Ricky Nelson's Greatest Hits, with 25 songs. It peaked at #56 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

In Stephen King's Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Nelson appears in You Know They Got a Hell of a Band as an evil version of himself, who torments an unsuspecting couple trapped in a town inhabited by late rock n roll legends. Nelson was portrayed by William McNamara in the 2006 television mini-series adaptation of Nightmares & Dreamscapes.

His estate is run as The Rick Nelson Company, LLC, and owns ancilliary rights to the classic Ozzie and Harriet television series. As of 2007, after years of public domain video releases on VHS and DVD, an officially released edition of the show has been released via Shout! Factory.

     Studio Albums

    * Ricky (1957)
    * Ricky Nelson (1958)
    * Ricky Sings Again (1959)
    * Songs by Ricky (1959)
    * More Songs by Ricky (1960)
    * Rick is 21 (1961)
    * Album Seven by Rick (1962)
    * Rick Nelson Sings "For You" (1963)
    * For Your Sweet Love (1963)
    * It's Up to You (1963)
    * Long Vacation (1963)
    * The Very Thought of You (1964)
    * Best Always (1965)
    * Spotlight on Rick (1965)
    * Bright Lights & Country Music (1966)
    * Love and Kisses (1966)
    * Country Fever (1967)
    * I Need You (1968)
    * Perspective (1968)
    * Another Side of Rick (1969)
    * In Concert at the Troubadour,1969 (1970)
    * Rick Sings Nelson (1970)
    * Rudy the Fifth (1971)
    * Garden Party (1972)
    * Windfall (1974)
    * Intakes (1977)
    * Playing to Win (1981)

    Singles discography

    * "I'm Walkin'" / “A Teenager’s Romance” (Verve 10047)
    * "You’re My One and Only Love" / “Honey Rock” (Verve 10070)
    * “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” / "Be Bop Baby" (Imperial 5463)
    * "Stood Up" / "Waitin' In School" (Imperial 5483)
    * “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It” / "Believe What You Say" (Imperial 5503)
    * "Poor Little Fool" / “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (Imperial 5528)
    * "Lonesome Town" / “I Got a Feeling” (Imperial 5545)
    * "It's Late" / "Never Be Anyone Else but You" (Imperial 5565)
    * “Just a Little Too Much” / "Sweeter Than You" (Imperial 5595)
    * “Mighty Good” / “I Wanna Be Loved” (Imperial 5614)
    * “Young Emotions” / “Right by My Side” (Imperial 5663)
    * “I’m Not Afraid” / “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby” (Imperial 5685)
    * “You Are the Only One” / “Milk Cow Blues” (Imperial 5707)
    * "Travelin' Man" / "Hello Mary Lou" (Imperial 5741)
    * “Everlovin’” / “A Wonder Like You” (Imperial 5770)
    * “Summertime” / "Young World" (Imperial 5805)
    * “I’ve Got My Eyes on You (And I Like What I See)” / "Teen Age Idol" (Imperial 5864)
    * "It's Up to You" / “I Need You” (Imperial 5901)
    * “I’m in Love Again” / “That’s All” (Imperial 5910)
    * “You Don’t Love Me Anymore (And I Can Tell)” / “I Got a Woman” (Decca 31475)
    * “If You Can’t Rock Me” / “Old Enough to Love” (Imperial 5935)
    * “A Long Vacation” / “Mad Mad World” (Imperial 5958)
    * “Gypsy Woman” / "String Along" (Decca 31495)
    * “Time After Time” / “There’s Not a Minute” (Imperial 5985)
    * "Fools Rush In" / “Down Home” (Decca 31533)
    * “Today’s Teardrops” / “Thank You Darlin’” (Imperial 66004)
    * "For You" / “That’s All She Wrote” (Decca 31574)
    * “Congratulations” / “One Minute to One” (Imperial 66017)
    * “The Very Thought of You” / “I Wonder (If Your Love Will Belong to Me)” (Decca 31612)
    * “Lucky Star” / “Everybody but Me” (Imperial 66039)
    * “Lonely Corner” / “There’s Nothing I Can Say” (Decca 31656)
    * “A Happy Guy” / “Don’t Breathe a Word” (Decca 31703)
    * “Mean Old World” / “When the Chips Are Down” (Decca 31756)
    * “Yesterday’s Love” / “Come Out Dancing” (Decca 31800)
    * “Say You Love Me” / “Love and Kisses” (Decca 31845)
    * “Fire Breathin’ Dragon” / “Your Kind of Lovin’ (Decca 31900)
    * “You Just Can’t Quit” / “Louisiana Man” (Decca 31956)
    * “Things You Gave Me” / “Alone” (Decca 32026)
    * “They Don’t Give Medals (To Yesterday’s Heroes)” / “Take a Broken Heart” (Decca 32055)
    * “Take a City Bride” / “I’m Called Lonely” (Decca 32120)
    * “Suzanne on a Sunday Morning” / “Moonshine” (Decca 32176)
    * “Dream Weaver” / “Baby Close Its Eyes” (Decca 32222)
    * “Don’t Blame It on Your Wife” / “Promenade in Green” (Decca 32284)
    * “Don’t Make Promises” / “Barefoot Boy” (Decca 32298)
    * “She Belongs to Me” / “Promises” (Decca 32558)
    * “Easy to Be Free” / “Come on In” (Decca 32635)
    * “I Shall Be Released” / “If You Gotta Go, Go Now” (Decca 32676)
    * “Look at Mary” / “We’ve Got Such a Long Way to Go” (Decca 32711)
    * “How Long” / “Down Along the Bayou Country” (Decca 32739)
    * “Life” / “California” (Decca 32779)
    * “Thank You Lord” / “Sing Me a Song” (Decca 32860)
    * “Gypsy Pilot” / “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” (Decca 32906)
    * "Garden Party" / “So Long Mama” (Decca 32980)
    * “Palace Guard” / “A Flower Opens Gently By” (MCA 40001)
    * “Lifestream” / “Evil Woman Child” (MCA 40130)
    * "Windfall" / “Legacy” (MCA 40187)
    * “One Night Stand” / “Lifestream” (MCA 40214)
    * “Try (Try to Fall in Love)” / “Louisiana Belle” (MCA 40392)
    * “Rock and Roll Lady” / “Fade Away” (MCA 40458)
    * “You Can’t Dance” / “It’s Another Day” (Epic 50458)
    * “Gimme a Little Sign” / “Something You Can’t Buy” (Epic 50501)
    * “Dream Lover” / “That Ain’t the Way Love’s Supposed to Be” (Epic 50674)
    * “It Hasn’t Happened Yet” / “Call It What You Want” (Capitol 4974)
    * “Believe What You Say” / “The Loser Babe Is You” (Capitol 4988)
    * “Give ’em My Number” / “No Fair Falling in Love” (Capitol 5178)
    * “You Know What I Mean” / “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (MCA 52781)
    * “Dream Lover” / “Rave On” (Epic 06066)

A little tribute:
Poor Little Fool


Hello Mary Lou

Fools Rush In

Ricky Nelson - Lonesome Town (1958)

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3.21 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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