Ricky Nelson

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Performer

Inducted in: 1987

Inducted by: John Fogerty

Nominated in: 1986   1987

First Eligible: 1986 Ceremony


Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 1992 (ranked #137) .


Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Poor Little Fool (1958)
It's Late (1959)
Travelin' Man (1961)
Hello Mary Lou (1961)
Garden Party (1972)

Ricky Nelson @ Wikipedia

Ricky Nelson Videos

Comments

10 comments so far (post your own)

He should be removed because of his sons.

Posted by Dameon on Friday, 08.1.08 @ 15:45pm


His sons have nothing to do with his induction Dameon. Now kindly go away. You are banished!!

Posted by Bu on Saturday, 12.20.08 @ 14:37pm


What did his sons do?

Posted by Keebord on Saturday, 12.20.08 @ 14:39pm


Matthew and Gunner Nelson (Ricky's sons), formed the 80's hair-metal band Nelson, which had hits with "After The Rain" and "Love And Affection." A very faint blip, even on the radar of 80's hair metal.

Posted by Philip on Saturday, 12.20.08 @ 17:28pm


Ricky Nelson's "Summertime" has been copied several times. The Blues Magoos used it for "We Ain't got Nothing Yet" and Deep Purple used it for "Black Night".

Posted by Dude Man on Tuesday, 08.18.09 @ 11:30am


Hey, DC...speaking of Ricky Nelson, are you familiar with this song? One of his other incarnations...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G98QzgkGL4

Posted by Gitarzan on Wednesday, 08.4.10 @ 19:15pm


Altrough he had to wait to gain the same level of respect as other early rock and roll greats, Ricky Nelson was one of the biggest teen idols of the 50s and wrote some of the finest rock songs of the era like "Teenage Garden Party". Sure, he had more push then any other 50s rock singer, but his singing voice wasn't the greatest and people like Elvis and Gene Vencent certinly outrocked him. But Ricky was consistent during the early years of his career, creating delightful rockabilly hybrids with ace session musicians and projecting an archtype of a sensitive young adult with his vocals. He has also played an often overlooked part in rock and roll's place in mainstream American culutre. How bad could rock and roll be if it was featured on an American family comedy?

Remaining true to the rockabilly of singers like Carl Perkins rather then being just a teen pop star with no musical experience, Rick prospered during the late 50s with songs like "Believe What You Say" and "Stood Up". For a time from 1957 to 1962, Nelson was almost the top selling perfomer in America who made the Top 40 charts 30 times. Through by the late 60s, Nelson hit a low point and he was never really able to make a comeback. He was killed in a plane crash in December of 1985.

Rick Nelson's music still touchs people's hearts every day and meny of us still feel it in our souls.

Thanks, Rick.

Posted by Andrew on Tuesday, 10.23.12 @ 23:45pm


Ricky Nelson was an early teenage idol who possessed a considerable amount of talent that complemented his good looks, although it took him awhile to gain the same level of respect as other early rock n' roll greats. Yet, the agreement is that he made some of the greatest rock recordings of his era like "Teenage Garden Party."

Sure, he had more promotional push then other 50s rockers, but he didn't have the best singing voice and yes, Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins rocked harder then he did.

On television, Rick and his older brother David acted out their actual lives as the sons of Harriet and Ozzie Nelson. As a rock n' roll teenager on TV, Nelson practically grew up in America's living rooms. How bad could rock n' roll be if it was featured on one of America's favorite family comedies?

For a period of a few years starting in 1957, each episode would end with Ricky and his band singing. Lots of teenagers simply tuned into the show because of Ricky and his performances.

But Rick was extraordinarily coherent during the first few years of his recording career, creating delightful rockabilly hybrids with ace session musicians and projecting an archetype of a sensitive young adult with his songs.

During his years on TV, Nelson was a dashing 50s teen idol who wore his hair in a flop-top. In fact, for his musical debut, Rick did an impersonation of Elvis in order to win the heart of a high school sweetie. Thereafter, he became a self-contained rock n' roller.

With his first two singles shooting up to the Top Five in 1957, Ricky Nelson would score three dozen hits.

While his less fanatic style of rockabilly went down easily with teenage girls, Rick Nelson was also one of the main pioneers of country rock.

Unfortunately, Ricky died in a plane crash in December of 1985, but the influences that he pasted on to singers like Paul McCartney and Chris Isaak still radiate throughout the music world today.

Posted by Andrew on Monday, 08.19.13 @ 20:30pm


Ricky Nelson was an early teenage idol who possessed a significant amount of talent that complemented his good looks, although it took him a while to achieve the same level of critical respect as other early rock n' roll greats, yet the agreement can be made that Rick made some of the finest rock recordings of his era.

Sure, he had more promotional drive then any other 50s rock singer and no, he wasn't the best singer out of the group and, yes, artists like Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Gene Vincent certainly outrocked him, but Nelson was extraordinarily dependable during the first few years of his recording career, crafting delightful pop-rockabilly hybrids with first-rate session musicians and projected a prototype of the sensitive, quiet young adult with accomplished vocals. He also played a somewhat undervalued role in rock and roll's incorporation into mainstream America. How bad could rock and roll be if it was featured on one of America's favorite family comedies on a weekly basis?

On TV, he and his older brother David acted out their actual lives as the children of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. As a rock and roll teen on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Ricky virtually grew up in America's living rooms.

For a few years, starting in 1957, each episode would finish with a song by Ricky and his band. Many teenagers tuned into the show because of him, and the performances, a forerunner of the kind of impact MTV would have in the 80s by bringing popular music to TV, kept The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet running until 1966.

Ricky was a handsome teen idol who wore his hair in a trendy flat-top with a ducktail. For his musical debut, he did an Elvis Presley parody on Ozzie and Harriet in order to impress a high school girl who had a crush on Presley. Thereafter, Nelson became a self-contained rock and roller in his own right. His main influences where Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash. On Presley's side, the feeling was shared, as he never missed an episode.

For his first recording, Nelson recorded "A Teenager's Romance" and Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'." Both songs made the Top Five shortly after their release in 1957, launching Ricky's musical career. He was only 16 and it was only the beginning. All totaled, Rick would have 3 dozen hits, making him one of the most successfully productive of all rock and rollers.

Although his TV role had been the launch paid, he more than made the grade as a rock artist. As unlikely as it might be, Ricky turned out to be the real deal: a smooth-voiced singer with a natural feel for the country side of rockabilly. In addition, he had a good taste in musicians, hiring guitarist James Burton as the backbone of his band. With a resource of rockabilly licks, Burton brought serious reliability to Rick’s music.

Nelson’s less frantic, more poppy brand of rockabilly went down easy America’s teenagers. In 1958, Nelson hit Number 1 with “Poor Little Fool,” and his sharp taste in music led him to his signature song, “Hello Mary Lou,” and “Travelin’ Man,” both which topped the charts. Between 1957 and 1959, Nelson owned the charts, placing 18 songs in the Top 40.

In 1961, Nelson dropped the “y” from his name. As his appeal with teen audiences vanished, he tried to find diction in the mid 60s, but he did get back of track and turned his attention to a more country favored sound by the decade’s end. Rick was one of the first country rock artists and he experienced a creative flowering with such albums as “Rick Sings Nelson” and “Garden Party.”

Even through Nelson stopped having hits in the 70s, he remained a hark-working musician who preformed up to 200 concerts a year. The 70s weren’t kind to him, as personal issues took their toll as his popularity ended. His life ended in 1985 when his touring plane crashed in Texas, killing him and six other people.

While I’m personally not a high fan of teen idols, Ricky Nelson is one of the few that I like because his songs painted a picture of a sensitive, quiet young adult. Of course, artists like Paul McCartney and Chris Isaak still draw influence from Nelson’s music to this day.

Posted by Andrew on Sunday, 04.20.14 @ 00:46am


There is at least a paragraph or two in your write up that reads word for word Nelson's entry at Allmusic.com. Must just be a remarkable coincidence.

Posted by dezmond on Monday, 04.21.14 @ 22:10pm


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