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Subject: ARCHIVE: December 31, 1985 ~Ricky Nelson, 45, early rock and roll star, musician, and singer-songwriter, whose career began as a youngster with his family on TV's "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet", leading into a successful singing career, until the fateful New Years Eve flight to a Texas gig, killing Nelson and his companions ...


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Date Posted: Monday, December 31, 03:09:12pm


Ricky Nelson
[ Eric Hilliard Nelson ]
(May 8, 1940 December 31, 1985)


American rock and roll star, musician, and singer-songwriter. From age eight he starred alongside his family in the radio and television series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. In 1957 he began a long and successful career as a popular recording artist. As one of the top "teen idols" of the 1950s his fame led to a motion picture role co-starring alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin in Howard Hawks's western feature film Rio Bravo (1959). He placed 53 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, and its predecessors, between 1957 and 1973, including "Poor Little Fool" in 1958, which was the first #1 song on Billboard magazine's then-newly created Hot 100 chart. He recorded 19 additional Top 10 hits and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 21, 1987. In 1996 Nelson was ranked #49 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.

Nelson began his entertainment career in 1949 playing himself in the radio sitcom series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. In 1952, he appeared in his first feature film, Here Come the Nelsons. In 1957, he recorded his first single, debuted as a singer on the television version of the sitcom, and released the #1 album titled Ricky. In 1958, Nelson released his first #1 single, "Poor Little Fool", and in 1959 received a Golden Globe nomination for "Most Promising Male Newcomer" after starring in Rio Bravo. A few films followed, and when the television series was cancelled in 1966, Nelson made occasional appearances as a guest star on various television programs. In 1985, Nelson began a "Comeback tour" with Fats Domino. He put the "y" back on his name and became "Ricky" again. He sang the songs for which he was famous and released a greatest hits album, Ricky Nelson: All My Best. His comeback was cut short when, while on the tour circuit, his plane crashed on New Year's Eve.

Death
Nelson dreaded flying but refused to travel by bus. In May 1985, he decided he needed a private plane and paid $118,000 for a fourteen-seat 1944 Douglas DC-3 (N711Y) 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.

At approximately 5:14 pm. CST on December 31, 1985, the plane Nelson and the band were traveling on, crash-landed northeast of Dallas in De Kalb, Texas, in a cow pasture less than two miles from a landing strip, hitting trees on its way down. Seven of the nine occupants were killed: Nelson and his companion, Helen Blair, 27; bass guitarist Patrick Woodward, 35; drummer Rick Intveld, 22; keyboardist Andy Chapin, 34; guitarist Bobby Neal, 38, and road manager/soundman Donald Clark Russell, 35. Pilots Ken Ferguson and Brad Rank escaped via cockpit windows, though Ferguson was severely burned. The theory of the cause of the crash is supported by records that showed that DC-3s in general, and this aircraft in particular, had a history of problems with its malfunctioning cabin heaters.

Nelson and Sharon Kristin Harmon were married on April 20, 1963, and divorced in December 1982. They had four children: Tracy Kristine, twin sons Gunnar Eric and Matthew Gray, and Sam Hilliard.

Learn MORE about the former pop teen idol ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricky_Nelson

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Replies:
Subject Author Date
Ex- Wife Kristin Nelson died on Apr. 27, 2018, at 72 (NT)Sister of Mark Harmon ("NCIS")Monday, December 31, 04:33:10pm


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