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Ricky Nelson

Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985)

I have enjoyed Ricky Nelson for years. I think he has such a distinctive sound and really embodies the era in which he hit his zenith of fame and popularity. I would say my all time favorite song is “Lonesome Town”. I made it a point to order that 45 for our jukebox and play it often. It is a shame he was taken from us while still so young.

Rick Nelson was an American singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, and actor. He placed fifty-three songs on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1957 and 1973, including “Poor Little Fool”, which happens to be the first No. 1 on the chart and nineteen other top-ten hits, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 21, 1987.

Nelson began his entertainment career in 1949 playing himself in the radio sitcom series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and, in 1952, appeared in his first feature film, Here Come the Nelsons. In 1957, he recorded his first single, debuted as a singer on the television version of the sitcom, and recorded a number one album, Ricky. In 1958, Nelson recorded his first number one single, “Poor Little Fool”, and, in 1959, received a Golden Globe Most Promising Male Newcomer nomination after starring in the western film, Rio Bravo. A few films followed, and, when the television series was cancelled in 1966, Nelson made occasional appearances as a guest star on various television programs.

From 1957 to 1962, Nelson had thirty Top-40 hits, more than any other artist at the time except Presley (who had 53) and Pat Boone (38). Many of Nelson’s early records were double hits with both the A and B sides hitting the Billboard charts.

In 1985, Nelson joined a nostalgia tour of England. After returning home, he began a tour of the South. After a show in Alabama, while on his way to a New Years Eve Sock-Hop in Dallas Texas, his plane crashed in De Kalb,Texas and he, along with his fiancée’ and other band members died.

He was buried in Forest Hills, CA. Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of fame in 1987, Bob Dylan wrote a tribute to Nelson about his influence on his own music


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