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Ricky Nelson


1940

Eric Hilliard Nelson - a.k.a. Ricky Nelson - is born in Teaneck, New Jersey.

1949

Brothers Rick and David Nelson - the sons of bandleader Ozzie and singer Harriet Nelson - make their first appearance their parents’ radio show.

1952

The popular TV sitcom Ozzie & Harriet - a family affair that includes brothers Rick and David Nelson - debuts on ABC-TV.

1957

Ricky Nelson releases his first single, both sides of which - “A Teenager’s Romance” and “I’m Walkin’” - make the Top Five.

1957

Ricky Nelson scores the first of many hits for the Imperial label when the rockabilly number “Be-Bop Baby” enters the Top Forty, en route to #3.

1958

Ricky Nelson’s debut album - simply titled Ricky - hits Number One for the first of two weeks.

1958

“Poor Little Fool,” by Ricky Nelson, hits Number One for the first of two weeks. It is the teen idol’s first chart-topper and third million seller.

1961

Rick Nelson turns 21, marking the passage to adulthood by henceforth shortening his performing name from “Ricky” to “Rick.”

1961

“Travelin’ Man,” by Rick Nelson, hits Number one for the first of two weeks. It is his second (and final) chart-topper.

1963

Rick Nelson signs a million-dollar deal with Decca Records, for which he’ll record for the next ten years.

1964

“For You,” by Rick Nelson, enters the Top Forty, where it will peak at #6. He won’t have another Top Ten single until 1972’s “Garden Party.”

1966

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, featuring their rock-and-rolling son Rick Nelson, ends its fourteen-year run.

1971

Rick Nelson is reportedly booed for his long hair and new sound at an oldies revival show at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The experience will inspire the song “Garden Party.”

1972

Rick Nelson’s “Garden Party” enters the Top Forty en route to #6. It is his first Top Ten hit since 1964.

1981

Rick Nelson’s last studio album, Playin’ to Win - produced by Jack Nitszche - is released on Capitol Records.

1985

Rick Nelson is killed when his tour plane catches fire and crashes in DeKalb, Texas. Six others die in the crash, including Nelson’s fiance and band.

1986

Rick Nelson is buried following a memorial service in Hollywood Hills, California.

1987

Ricky Nelson is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 2nd annual induction dinner. John Fogerty is his presenter.

2000

Legacy, a four-disc box-set compendium of Rick Nelson’s work, is released on Capitol Records.

Ricky Nelson