Ricky Nelson was well known for his good looks and captivating blue eyes!
It was on the popular TV series where Nelson began to conclude each episode with a song from his band that established his popularity as a musician. A number of albums were produced whereby Ricky Nelson owned the music charts for a three-year period from 1957 through 1959 with his hit songs. In addition to his recording career, Nelson appeared in movies, including the Howard Hawks western classic Rio Bravo with John Wayne, Dean Martin, and Walter Brennan (1959), plus The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960) with Jack Lemmon and Love and Kisses (1965) with Jack Kelly.
Garden Party reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Rick Nelson maintained his celebrity status through the 1970s, appearing in television shows ranging from the Midnight Special to Solid Gold, The Streets of San Francisco, and Saturday Night Live, while continuing to perform with his band.
Rick Nelson Garden Party 1985
Teen Idol Tragedy on This Day in Music History: December 31, 1985...
As with so many entertainers, lives are cut short with many being the result of airplane crashes.
Nelson dreaded flying but refused to travel by bus. In May 1985, he decided he needed a private plane and leased a luxurious, fourteen-seat, 1944 Douglas DC-3 that had once belonged to the DuPont family and later to Jerry Lee Lewis. The plane had been plagued by a history of mechanical problems. In one incident, the band was forced to push the plane off the runway after an engine blew, and in another incident, a malfunctioning magneto prevented Nelson from participating in the first Farm Aid concert in Champaign, Illinois.
On December 26, 1985, Nelson and the band left for a three-stop tour of the Southern United States. Following shows in Orlando, Florida, and Guntersville, Alabama, Nelson and band members took off from Guntersville for a New Year's Eve extravaganza in Dallas, Texas. The plane crash-landed northeast of Dallas in De Kalb, Texas, less than two miles from a landing strip, at approximately 5:14 pm. CST on December 31, 1985, hitting trees as it came to earth. [Source: wikipedia.org]
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...more to come on December 31...#1 Hits, Live Debuts & Music Trivia!