Born Eric Nelson to his famous parents Ozzie and Harriet Nelson in 1940, Rick Nelson came to be a teen idol in the 60's and 70's. His hit Garden Party made him famous and some say the term "teen idol" started with him.

Rick Nelson's life was cut short when his plane made an emergency landing in Texas and then burst into flames.

Rick has four children, with Matthew and Gunnar being the most famous as the "Nelson twins" (think long hair).

I wrote this March, 2001 for my US History AP class based on research I did. If you want to use this paper then at least give me a holler.

Rick Nelson

Eric Hilliard Nelson was born May 8, 1940, in Teaneck, New Jersey. Born to Ozzie Nelson, a well-known orchestra band leader, and to Harriet Hilliard, daughter of show business parents, Little Ricky was a welcomed edition to his parents traveling music and skit performances.

From the success of his parents’ comedic banter and musical talent, a television show was offered in1947 and thus “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” became the first and longest running family situation comedy, and Little Ricky became the favorite character.

In 1956 a new kind of music filled the hearts of America and the image of Elvis Presley and rock’n’roll filled every teenager’s heart. One day out on a date with a girl Elvis played on the radio. The girl immediately screamed in joy and out of jealousy for Elvis, Rick boasted that he too was cutting a record to a date. When the girl laughed Rick was determined to do so. His cover of Fats Domino’s “I’m Walkin’” was immediately a national hit.

With the help of his parents television show, Rick Nelson became the first true “teenage idol” as written by Life Magazine almost over night and soon his music career took off. Releasing various huge hits in the late 50’s, Rick was instilled into American culture as the one and only teen idol to worship.

With the passé of 50’s however, the change in musical landscape in the 60’s was unpredictable. The new trend of the “British Invasion” with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones pushed away all the other homegrown bands.

Rick’s career subsided for awhile to account for his marriage and for the ending of “Ozzie and Harriet.” Rick tried other new forms of media, foraying into movies and stage.

Afterwards there was a resurgence into Rick’s music, but this time instead of rock, Rick cut a country record just to prove he could do it. The record’s Californian style of country rock was a hit and Rick’s career was back on track.

Rick later released more new material throughout the 70’s and the 80’s. However, on New Years Eve, 1985, Rick’s plane crashed en route to Dallas.

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