Gunnar Nelson (musician)

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Gunnar Nelson
Gunnar Nelson.jpg
Nelson in 2007
Background information
Birth nameGunnar Eric Nelson
Instrumentsvocals, guitar, drums, keyboards, piano
Years active1989–present

Gunnar Eric Nelson is an American musician, singer and songwriter.


Nelson is the son of musician Ricky Nelson and actress Kristin Harmon.[1] He is the identical twin brother of Matthew Nelson, and brother of Tracy Nelson and musician Sam Nelson. His paternal grandparents were Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hilliard from the television program, Ozzie and Harriet. His maternal grandparents were football player and sports broadcaster Tom Harmon and actress and model Elyse Knox. His maternal uncle is actor Mark Harmon.


Marc Tanner and the Nelson twins wrote the After the Rain album in 1990, after being signed to Geffen Records in 1989. Their singles, "(I Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection", "After the Rain", "More Than Ever", and "Only Time Will Tell" all held positions on Billboard's Top 40. When "Love and Affection" reached the No. 1 position on the charts, the Nelsons landed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only family to have No. 1 records in three successive generations (their grandfather, Ozzie Nelson, had a No. 1 hit with "And Then Some" in 1934, and their father, Ricky Nelson, had No. 1 hits with "Poor Little Fool" in 1958 and "Travelin' Man" in 1961). However, as the British music magazine, NME, pointed out in October 1990, this feat was also achieved by Red Foley, Pat Boone and Debby Boone.[2]

Nelson co-founded the Stone Canyon Records label with his brother in 1995 after leaving Geffen Records. He released thirteen albums on that label.[3]

Nelson plays a variety of musical instruments, including the drums, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, piano, and bazouki.[3]

Gunnar and Matthew Nelson released a rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock", on Razor and Tie Record's Monster Ballads Xmas album for Christmas 2007. The Nelson brothers previously collaborated with Razor and Tie on the Monsters of Rock and Monster Ballads albums.[4] In May 2007, they released a rendition of their father's No. 1 hit, "Travelin' Man", on a limited edition compilation album, A Song for My Father[5]. In addition, Nelson assembled a celebrity rock band, Scrap Metal. They planned a tour with Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger and Eric Martin of Mr. Big.[6]

Nelson appeared on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s with his twin. Nelson's No. 1 hit "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" was voted and ranked No. 96 in the special, honoring the 100 greatest hits of the nineties.[7] Nelson released the song "Rockin' Little Roadster" on the Cars soundtrack. In 2008 Disney asked him to record another song "Band in a Van" on the follow-up CD with Fred Mullen.[8]


In 2005, Nelson became a cast member of Celebrity Fit Club (US TV series) 3, after actor Jeff Conaway left due to drug related problems. In June 2015, Gunnar and his family appeared on ABC Television's[9] Celebrity Wife Swap opposite Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe.


with Nelson[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • After the Rain (1990)
  • Because They Can (1995)
  • Imaginator (1996)
  • The Silence is Broken (1997)
  • Life (1999)
  • Lightning Strikes Twice (2010)
  • Peace Out (2015)

Live album[edit]

  • Perfect Storm (2010)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Best of Nelson (2004)
  • Movin' On: The Still Life soundtrack (2006)
  • Before The Rain: The Demos 1986-1990 - 2010 Frontiers Records

as The Nelsons[edit]

  • Brother Harmony (1998)

as Matthew & Gunnar Nelson[edit]

  • Like Father, Like Sons (2000)
  • This Christmas[10] (2015)
  • This Christmas Too[11] (2016)


  1. ^ "Inside the Tragic Downfall of Kristin Harmon: Mark Harmon's Late Sister and Former Member of TV Royalty". Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  2. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 477. CN 5585.
  3. ^ a b "Matthew and Gunnar Nelson". Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  4. ^ Archived from the original on February 25, 2009. Retrieved June 4, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Gunnar Nelson, Matthew Nelson, Travelin' Man, retrieved 2018-12-04
  6. ^ "WME Entertainment". Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  7. ^ "VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s". Spinditty. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  8. ^ Fred Mollin. "Disney - Cars - Lightning McQueen's Fast Tracks". Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  9. ^ "Celebrity Wife Swap | Rain's Surprise Rock Star Outing". ABC. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  10. ^ "The Nelson Brothers & Wilson Sisters Team Up for Sibling Duet on 'This Christmas': Premiere". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Pittsburgh Music Magazine".

External links[edit]