Saturday, January 1, 2011
Ricky Nelson May 8. 1940- Dec 31, 1985
I will take a break from Constable tonight to memorialize Ricky Nelson. Nelson was the son of a famous big band leader Ozzie Nelson. Ricky began his career in 1952, in his fathers radio show "Here Come The Nelsons" That evolved into Ozzie and Harriet, a TV show I never saw ( I grew up, and still live without TV)
Ricky Nelson used the TV exposure to build a career as a musician. He had 19 top ten hits and placed 53 songs in the top 100. He played with first rate musicians and was the real thing himself. Nelson spent his whole life trying to overcome his image as a lightweight child star musician.
Ricky Nelson probably made the first music video by editing together cuts from his television appearances.
After numerous failed marriages and drug addictions he toured extensively playing his hits in state fairs and secondary venues, but always wrote and played new music too. He scored a great comeback hit with "Garden Party" in 1972 documenting a failed gig at the Madison square Garden, his last top 40 hit.
Twenty six years ago tonight, Ricky Nelson and his band boarded his 1944 DC3 in Guntersville, Alabama bound for Dallas. At 5:14 the plane crashed in DeKalb, Texas killing most of the passengers including Nelson and his fiance Helen Blair.
The pilots attempted to land in a field after smoke filled the cabin. The pilot indicated that the crew tried to turn on the gasoline cabin heater repeatedly shortly before the fire occurred, but that it failed to respond.
Happy New Year to you all, and God Bless. Thank you all for reading my blog. I have met so many of you and it has been a great reward for my efforts here. I have had over 26,000 readers this month!