Eric Hilliard “Ricky” Nelson, also known as Rick Nelson was born in Teaneck, New Jersey on May 8, 1940, 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.” As a teenage idol at 17 years of age Ricky Nelson began a rock and roll music career by recording a song written and made popular by Fats Domino just a few weeks earlier in 1957. “I’m Walkin’” gave both artists a top ﬁve hit and would be the first of 55 appearances on the Hit Parade for Ricky Nelson. “A Teenager’s Romance” was Ricky’s second million seller, followed by Be-Bop Baby, “ “Stood Up,” “Believe What You Say,” “Poor Little Fool,” “Lonesome Town,” “Never Be Anyone Else But You,” “It’s Late,” “Just a Little Too Much,” “Travelin’ Man,” “Hello Mary Lou,” “Young World,” “It’s Up To You,” “For You” and “Garden Party.”
From 1957 to 1962, Nelson had 30 Top-40 hits, three consecutive double sided top 10 hits with “Lonesome Town” backed with “I Got A Feeling”, “Never Be Anyone Else But You” backed with “It’s Late” and “Just A Little Too Much” backed with “Sweeter Than You.” In addition to his recording career, Ricky Nelson also appeared in movies, including “Rio Bravo” with John Wayne and Dean Martin in 1959.
At 45 years of age he began a tour of the southern United States and was on his way to New Year’s Eve concert in Dallas, when he died in a plane crash near De Kalb, Texas on December 31, 1985. Nelson was privately buried in the Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
Ricky Nelson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007.