THE RICK NELSON TRIBUTE PAGE
IN OCTOBER OF 1981, I was at KSLQ Radio/St. Louis. In addition to my other shifts I also did a Saturday Nite Oldies Show I called "Flashbacks !". On one particular Saturday night we had the Legendary RICK NELSON in town for a special show, and he graciously agreed to give me an Exclusive Interview and personally called me that afternoon so that we could tape it.
Rick was one of the earliest Superstars and Pioneers of Rock & Roll...a true Living Legend. His early Rockabilly influences were felt far and wide, and his friends included some of the coolest "Rockabilly Cats" that were out there, including ELVIS ! In fact, at one time, Rick was Elvis' closest rival...selling millions of records on his own !
It was an era of blending rock/country/rhythm & blues/pop music to listeners across-the-board. And Elvis, along with Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis, and lots of others, were cranking out hit-after-hit. BUT, Rick had a "Secret Weapon" that had never been tried to the fullest extent yet: A Weekly TV SHOW !
With hit records like "Be Bop Baby", "Waitin' In School", "Poor Little Fool", "There'll Never Be Anyone Else But You", "Travelin' Man", "Hello Mary Lou"...and many, many others, his place in R&R History was launched into the Record Books. In fact, Rick Nelson was the 5th Best-Selling Male Artist of the 50's.
THROUGH THE YEARS , I've had the privilege of Interviewing some of the Greatest Legends in the Music Industry: Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Paul McCartney, Anne Murray, Bob Seeger, Mark Lindsay, Paul Anka, "Wolfman Jack", and too many others to mentiion. BUT, Rick Nelson was one of the kindest, most generous, most giving individuals I ever had the pleasure, and true privilege of Interviewing.
Sadly, on New Year's Eve, 1985, I was on-the-air when the news bulletin came across the wire service stating that Rick had been killed in a firey explosion and plane crash in DeKalb, Texas, while on his way to a New Year's Eve Concert in Dallas. It sincerely pained me to read that bulletin and report the story, but I dedicated the rest of my show that night to Rick.
As a Special "thank you" to all of the fantastic viewers & vistors who have sent us so many eMails and kind words about the "Hall Of Fame Legends" Series, Interviews, pix, et al, and have complimented us about what we're doing on this Site, I've set up this Special Tribute Page which contains PART 1 of that rare, Exclusive, October, 1981 Interview with Rick so that I can share it with all of you.
IN PART 1, Rick tells how his parents musical careers held forth in the Big Band Era, talks about how he started out on the families radio show, and, the reason behind why he recorded, what turned out to be, a Million Seller: "I'M WALKIN' " . This Special Interview was locked away in my private Archives for over 25 years, and had never been heard publicly since I originally aired it in 1981.
IN PART 2, Rick tells about his early years and a song he wrote that had a special meaning for him in the latter part of his career. The song was "GARDEN PARTY", which turned into another Million Seller for Rick. I hope you enjoy it, and remember what a GREAT Legend that this gifted, talented, man was. Simply click-on here to listen ! Thanks again, Rick. You were the BEST ! JK
[REMEMBER: You'll hear all of these EXCLUSIVE Interviews nowhere else but here on our "Hall Of Fame Legends" Website ! E-Mail a friend and tell them to log onto us soon: www.legends.thewwbc.net ]
SPECIAL NOTE: I've added more info & pix from Rick on my Personal WebSite ! Just go www.jonnieking.net and scroll down the Front Page 'til you see Rick's name.
SPECIAL NOTE: TO HEAR A RARE RADIO EPISODE FROM RICK'S EARLIEST days in Radio, just click-on this Special link that I've locked-in for you.
It's from my Golden Age Radio Series "The Breakfast Serial" and features Rick and his entire family, Ozzie, Harriet, and his brother David, in a Special Holiday Program that's always been one of my favorites: "OZZIE & HARRIET": "HALLOWEEN, 1948".
It's a warm look back at an earlier time, and I think you'll really enjoy it ! Just click-on here to listen: http://www.serial.thewwbc.net/gpage10.html