Genre Of Ricky Nelson • Rockabilly: One of the earliest forms of rock music originating in the early 1950s. Rockabilly refers to the combination of the words rock n’ roll and hillbilly and the combination of the C&W and R&B musical styles. • Instruments in the Rockabilly style include electric and/or acoustic guitars, electric or upright bass, drums and vocals. • Other popular artists in the rockabilly category are Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins
Unique Attributes of Music • Ricky’s records were produced with the intention of avoiding the overly slick production trends that characterized much of the music during the time. Instead Ricky preferred a more live and natural sound. Rick • Nelson was from the middle-class, not a poor southerner which made his background different from most musicians of the time. He used his joy of being youthful as the driving energy behind his version of rock ’n’ roll.
Ricky’s Importance to Rock N Roll • For his first record, Ricky wanted his cover of Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin" to be the main title, while his parents wanted the, 'A Teenager's Romance', as the A-side. Their concern was to market Ricky on the basis of his role in "Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet," in which his cheeky lopsided grin and "I don't mess around, boy" catchphrase suggested rebelliousness but went no further. Parental opinion won the day, but to everyone's surprise both sides made the Top Twenty, in 1957, selling a million copies. Ricky Nelson had gained acceptance as both rock'n'roller and teen idol. • Rick Nelson became one of the first artists that audiences saw and heard simultaneously. He would perform a song at the end of every Ozzie and Harriet show. Rock n' Roll was considered scandalous in the mainstream 50's, and weekly the "nice Nelson boy" smuggled it into living rooms and made it acceptable to parents. Consequently American teenagers had far greater access to Rock n' Roll than they ever would have had, arguably Rick Nelson's most important contribution to music.
Ricky’s Musical Ability • "People have tried to imply over the years that he was just sort of stood up in front of the band. Of course, he got a lot of help from James Burton and all those guys, but if the singer isn't happening, then the record's not going to be happening. Ricky deserves credit as being the one who made those records really happen.” (Marshall Crenshaw) "A lot of people thought of him as a Frankie Avalon or something. Those first records were not like that at all. He had a great rockabilly band and, as I said in my speech, he gave Sam Phillips [Sun Records chief who launched Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins] a run for his money. Rick's first four or five albums are just absolutely classic rock 'n' roll.” (John Fogerty)
Citations • Rockabilly Hall of Fame. (2009 October). Rick Nelson. Retrieved October 14, 2009 from: http://www.rockabillyhall.com/ RickyNelson1.html • The Ricky Nelson Company. Rick Nelson Biography. Retrieved October 14, 2009from:http://rickynelson.com/indexold.html Nick Whebbe