Rick Nelson, Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneer


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About the Book

Ricky Nelson (he later preferred “Rick”) was 8 years old when he began his career in show business. After a successful run on radio, his family’s situation comedy The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet enjoyed a 14 year television tenure. On the April 10, 1957, episode, “Ricky the Drummer,” Nelson started his singing career by lip syncing to Fats Domino’s “I’m Walkin’.” He scored 36 Top 40 singles between 1957 and 1972 and ranked number 5 in Billboard’s Top 25 Artists of the Decade 1950–1959. As a country rock pioneer, Rick Nelson influenced Buffalo Springfield, Linda Ronstadt, and the Eagles. This book is a candid account of his life in rock and roll through stories told by musicians and producers on the road and in the studio with him. Actors and family members also provided invaluable memories and insights.

About the Author(s)

Journalist Sheree Homer ran her own music magazine, Rockabilly Revue, for two years. Since 2006, she has contributed articles to various publications, including Blue Suede News. She lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Bibliographic Details

Sheree Homer
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 206
Bibliographic Info: 47 photos, filmography, discography, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6060-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0019-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Foreword by Bruce Berenson      1
Introduction      5

1. Musical Destiny      9
2. “The Irrepressible Ricky”      13
3. Televised Singing Debut      18
4. Rockabilly Provides a String of Hits      33
5. Pop Goes the Sound      61
6. Country Rock Pioneer      83
7. Return to Rockabilly Roots      117
8. America Loses Its Favorite Son      133
9. Musical Legacy      143

Appendix 1: Select Discography      151
Appendix 2: Select Filmography and Television and Radio Broadcasts      161
Appendix 3: Prolific Songwriters for Rick Nelson      176
Notes      179
Bibliography      189
Index      193

Book Reviews & Awards

“there are a ton of great photos in the book, some of which have probably never been seen by many fans. Good reading”—Echoes Of the Past; “Homer is an expert in the area of rock and roll roots music. Her books are filled with painstaking research, accurate assessments, and first hand recollections via interviews. This is an intelligent, insightful, fascinating examination of just what makes this music tick…highly recommended”—Examiner; “an outstanding book”—The Journal of American Culture; “Homer’s vivid account, littered with intimate, fly-on-the-wall revelations, drew me into the tale. The amount of detail is impressive”—Now Dig This; “a thorough job…research is excellent…valuable…an obvious labor of love, easy to read and hard to put down, stuffed full of little nuggets…highly recommended”—UK Rock Magazine; “shows a true love of the subject, his life, his history, and, his long and varied career”—records.thewwbc.net; “I cannot tell you what a wonderful addition this would be to your personal library”—legends.thewwbc.net; “a well-researched biography and one that is well worth reading. A brilliant book”—Rock ’n’ Roll Musikmagazin; “Homer has written a balanced, analytical biography of Nelson and she leaves few stones unturned”—Record Collector News.