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Rick Nelson

Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985) was an American musician and actor. From age eight he starred alongside his family in the radio and television series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. In 1957, he began a long and successful career as a popular recording artist. His fame as both a recording artist and television star also led to a motion picture role co-starring alongside John Wayne, Dean Martin, Walter Brennan, and Angie Dickinson in Howard Hawks's western feature film Rio Bravo (1959). He placed 54 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and its predecessors between 1957 and 1973, including "Poor Little Fool" in 1958, which was the first number one song on Billboard magazine's then-newly created Hot 100 chart. He recorded 19 additional top ten hits and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 21, 1987. In 1996 Nelson was ranked No. 49 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.

Nelson began his entertainment career in 1949, playing himself in the radio sitcom series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. In 1952, he appeared in his first feature film, Here Come the Nelsons. In 1957, he recorded his first single ("I'm Walkin' b/w "A Teenager's Romance", Verve 10047X4S), debuted as a singer on the television version of the sitcom, and released the No. 1 album titled Ricky. In 1958, Nelson released his first #1 single, "Poor Little Fool", and in 1959 received a Golden Globe nomination for "Most Promising Male Newcomer" after starring in 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. In his twenties, he moved away from the pop music of his youth and began to perform in a country rock style. After recording several albums with mostly session musicians, most of which flopped, he formed the Stone Canyon Band in 1969 and experienced a career resurgence, buoyed by the live album In Concert at the Troubadour, 1969 and had a surprise hit with 1972's "Garden Party", which peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100. His comeback was short-lived, however, as his record label was bought out and folded, and his followup albums were not well promoted by his new label. He continued to perform live and take small television roles through the 1970s, though his label dropped him by the end of the decade. He released two more albums, with unimpressive results, before his death in a plane crash on New Year's Eve, 1985.

Nelson was married once, to Sharon Kristin Harmon, from 1963 until their divorce in 1982. They had four children: actress Tracy Nelson, twin sons and musicians Gunnar and Matthew, and actor Sam.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 8, 1940 (Teaneck), Died December 31, 1985 (Dallas)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1963 - 1972

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, guitar, piano

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 210 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 118086 10/26/1966 It doesn't matter anymore Rick Nelson vocalist  
Decca 118088 10/26/1966 They don't give medals (To yesterday's heroes) Rick Nelson vocalist  
Decca 118091 10/26/1966 Take a broken heart Rick Nelson vocalist  
Decca 118093 10/26/1966 Try to see it my way Rick Nelson ; Joanie Sommers vocalist  
Decca L 13112 2/12/1963 You don't love me anymore Rick Nelson vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 13113 2/12/1963 I got a woman Rick Nelson vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 13131 3/7/1963 What comes next? Rick Nelson vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 13132 3/7/1963 Everytime I see you smiling Rick Nelson vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 13133 3/7/1963 Everytime I think about you Rick Nelson vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 13134 3/7/1963 For your sweet love Rick Nelson vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 13135 3/14/1963 Gypsy woman-1 Rick Nelson vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 13136 3/14/1963 Little by little Rick Nelson vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 13137 3/14/1963 I will follow you-1 Rick Nelson vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 13138 3/21/1963 Let's talk the whole thing over Rick Nelson vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 13139 3/21/1963 One boy too late Rick Nelson ; Rick Nelson vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 13150 3/20/1963 I can't get started Rick Nelson ; Rick Nelson vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca L 13194 4/2/1963 Pick up the pieces Rick Nelson vocalist  
Decca L 13195 4/2/1963 String along-1 Rick Nelson vocalist  
Decca L 13233 7/16/1963 You're free to go Rick Nelson vocalist  
Decca L 13234 7/16/1963 Hello Mister Happiness-1 Rick Nelson vocalist  
Decca L 13235 7/16/1963 That same old feeling-1 Rick Nelson vocalist  
Decca L 13236 7/30/1963 Down home-1 Rick Nelson vocalist  
Decca L 13237 7/30/1963 I rise, I fall Rick Nelson vocalist  
Decca L 13238 7/30/1963 (I'd be) A legend in my time Rick Nelson vocalist  
Decca L 13247 8/15/1963 Fools rush in-1 Rick Nelson vocalist  
(Results 1-25 of 210 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Nelson, Rick," accessed April 24, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/207234.

Nelson, Rick. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 24, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/207234.

"Nelson, Rick." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 24 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/207234

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