Talk:Ricky Nelson

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I altered a sentence about Ricky being a "credible" performer before he sold his soul and became a teen idol. It struck me as POV, and representative of a view that particularly annoys me. Fabian and Frankie Avalon get a bad reputation for their schmaltziness, but as someone interested in arranging and producing music I find their recordings vastly more interesting than those of "legitimate" singer"s like our Ricky. (talk) 11:44, 17 August 2008 (UTC) "Credible" performer BEFORE he sold his soul and became a teen idol? He STARTED his singing career as a teen idol. Or maybe you refer to his acting career.

Possible organisation of future work on this article[edit]

As, a first start, I think, those who choose, to brush this article up, should start, by removing, the COMMAS.

And mention Sam Nelson, the article makes it sound like he's a third sex. There's a little about him at IMDB Bio —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:28, 2 December 2009 (UTC)


Is it true that the plane crash was drug-related?

No, it is not true. The fire was started by a faulty connection of the fuel line leading into the heater. The aerosol cans found afterwards were hair spray cans and FingerEase, a lubricant sprayed by guitarists onto guitar necks.

Don't be too hasty blaming the fuel line. I've seen an article in Flying that suggests the cabin heater in the tail overheated, caused magnesium in the ex-military bird to ignite, and filled the cabin with smoke. (A similar cause is blamed for the wreck that killed Buddy Holly & Rick Valens.) This is the first I've heard of freebasing being blamed; I don't believe it. --fourthina3, 16/11/05

The "freebasing" rumor was out there for YEARS--almost immediately after the plane crash. Of course drugs had nothing to do with it. Both pilots survived the crash and, from what I read, they tried to save the passengers, but the heat was too great.--Susan Nunes 8 December 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:01, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

The Buddy Holly crash had nothing to do with either a faulty heater ( except that it was a faulty heater on the bus) or an in flight fire. Rather it was likely caused by a pilot who lacked an instrument rating attempting to fly in instrument conditions. Wschart (talk) 18:05, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Garden Party[edit]

For general informative purposes, Nelson's last hit song, "Garden Party," the 'garden" referred to is Madison Square Garden where, during one of his performances, many in the crowd boo'd (booed?) his playing newer music. Seems the masses wanted to hear the old songs from the 1950s and early 1960s. Nelson referenced the situation in Garden Party's lyrics. Now, aintcha' glad yah' opened this page? You betcha'.

Now, whom do you think the line "I'd rather drive a truck" is referring to? ;-) Jmacwiki (talk) 05:47, 8 April 2008 (UTC) Elvis drove a truck before he broke through. Missaeagle —Preceding unsigned comment added by Missaeagle (talkcontribs) 04:04, 2 June 2008 (UTC)


I think this article needs better organization. Information is mentioned twice, and I think there are two many wikifications, with links basically put in random words. I was going to reorganize it but I know little about the topic and the problems with the structure are so subtle that it is hard to know what changes exactly to make. Any input? Academic Challenger 03:24, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

    • On this subject, has anyone any idea why "Death" as a section appears part-way through the article, rather than at the end (a very usual and logical position for one's final act in life, I think you'll agree)? Was this a conscious editorial decision, or merely a poorly though out move on the part of the originator (I have not looked at the editorial history of this article, I admit)? Personally, I would have put "Personal life" before "Death", as this would also satisfy the chronologically-sensitive too! Thanks. Ref (chew)(do) 14:34, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

The karate note is entirely misplaced in the "Garden Party" section. Wantnot (talk) 20:17, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

1980 one night stand[edit]

He paid 400 a month for a child resulting from a one nightstand. On biography. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 06:34, 21 January 2007 (UTC). but please note that Rick himself denied paternity — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lonely Summer (talkcontribs) 21:57, 10 January 2012 (UTC)


I think the photo in the top (right) is not a Ricky`s photo. The man in the photo is John Fogerty. Thank you.

As of this date, it is definitely a photo of Nelson.-- Drew Peacock, Esquire - my talk page - 06:45, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

You did know he had a comic book?[edit]

Four Color Comics that tried to cash in on his wholesome image. -Sparky 20:46, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Basic spelling and grammar issues[edit]

It shouldn't even have to said. Have an American dictionary open when contributing to Wikipedia. The editing page even highlights unknown words with red lines, so there is no excuse.

Ricky Nelson Discography: Poor Little Fool[edit]

I noticed that you have listed the highest position on the Billboard charts for Ricky Nelson's 1958 record, "Poor Little Fool" as #7. That is actually incorrect. "Poor Little Fool" was Ricky Nelson's first #1 single on the Billboard charts. In fact, it was the first single to be listed as #1 on the newly re-constructed Hot 100 in 1958. Rick's only other #1 single was "Travelin'Man" in 1961.

Ricky Nelson actually rivaled Elvis between April, 1957 and February 1959, and charted more Top 40 hits than Elvis. Ricky purportedly sold 100 million records, mostly singles as he was recording in the era when singles (45s) far out-sold albums (33s). Nsperanzo (talk) 23:39, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

This appears to have been corrected before today's date.-- Drew Peacock, Esquire - my talk page - 06:50, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Rick Nelson and The Four Preps[edit]

I note there is no reference to The Four Preps. Reference for more details of how they joined him on their first tour together.

Citations & references[edit]

See Wikipedia:Footnotes for an explanation of how to generate footnotes using the <ref(erences/)> tags Nhl4hamilton (talk) 04:44, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

This Bashe book?[edit]

A lot of very "tabloid-type" stuff in this article is from this book by Bashe. Is this a reputable book? I mean, alot of this stuff seems objectionable, libelous, and even contradictory. TuckerResearch (talk) 23:28, 28 January 2010 (UTC) Yes, I would agree. I don't think a basic overview bio - which is what this is - is the right place for this kind of rumour and gossip.

The book seems legit to me - it's a non-fiction biography. Unfortunately, WP doesn't have to provide the truth, just citations from reliable sources. This source checks out... Doc9871 (talk) 23:35, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

The Selvin book referenced is just as tabloid-oriented, if not more so, than the Bashe book. For the record, Rick's sons stated back at the time Selvin's book was released that "this is not the true story of the Nelsons, we prefer that fans not read it" (Us Magazine, June 1990). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:32, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Full of gossip?[edit]

I just read parts of the article and several times I stopped to think whether I want to know about his one-night stands, first sexual experiences, and all relationships with girls. I think I don't really care. He was a highly popular singer, so the article should focus about his musical career, his influences, etc., with a final section about his private life, as can be seen in many other articles on singers, showstars, and actors. It could be just me but I think somewhere there is a line about what is relevant for an encyclopedic article and what the focus should be. Ben T/C 18:13, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. This stuff all seems to come from a tabloid, trash book. TuckerResearch (talk) 01:20, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
There are only two published biographies about Nelson and both discuss his personal and sexual life and both bios are from mainstream, respected publishers. The sexual life of an artist has impact on his product and is an appropriate area for a modern encyclopedia. As long as the discussion is not on the porn level (breathless passions, throbbing organs, quivering thingies, etc.) what's the problem? If it's not something you want to read, skip it -- but don't take it away from those who do realize its importance and relevance. SnowflakeWay (talk) 00:23, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
You say that "both bios are from mainstream, respected publishers." There are many trashy, horridly produced, horribly researched biographies by "respected publishers." Anything by Kitty Kelly comes to mind. "The sexual life of an artist has impact on his product..." Yes it could, but it also could not. If yes, is this link made in these bios that his "sexual life" played an impact on his music? That is not clear from the article as written. " an appropriate area for a modern encyclopedia." I disagree here. Why not produce a table of his sexual conquests sorted by age, date, location, sexual position, etc.? Why not do this for every article? "but don't take it away from those who do realize its importance and relevance" - I see, if some of us think that this information is unencyclopedic, or that the source books are fishy, we're just too stupid to "realize its importance and relevance." Forgive us our knuckle-dragging ignorance. TuckerResearch (talk) 02:28, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

I just read this article for the first time yesterday and I agree that the language in this article is not encyclopedic in tone. It made me laugh out loud in several places, and it's probably not supposed to. Even if the sources use this kind of language, it is not considered the best writing practices and can be vastly improved. For example,

  • Why would Nelson's legitimate children be singled out in a box? Why in the section titled "Children", would the ones sired out of wedlock not be included, as in the one he had with Georgeanne Crewe? Why actually have an entire section on his children? Why not just a paragraph? Or actually, they are mentioned in other places, so why the entire section to emphasize them?
  • Why is Kris Nelson described as "making love" with Ron Reagan, but Nelson is described as "cavorting" with two LA Rams cheerleaders in the same paragraph? These euphemisms need to be replaced by the simplest term: "having sex".
  • "She was hell-bent on taking everything she possibly could and leaving Rick ruined." Good gracious, this needs a quote from a biographer or something: According to biographer John Q. Gossipmonger...
  • I agree that too much is written about Nelson's volatile relationships. I don't see how it has any bearing on his career or notability in performing.
  • Why is it necessary to know that Blair was a cocaine-user, shoplifter, and Nelson's family disapproved of their relationship? What bearing does this have on how readers should understand why he was notable? I'm not saying the details about his various affairs should be hidden, but the article makes it seem as if, perhaps like Hugh Hefner, Ricky Nelson was *as notable* for his affairs as he was the job that made him famous. Overlooking the article, the same amount of emphasis is placed on his music career as it is placed on his personal life. Actually, somewhat less. I get the impression a relative of Nelson's has had a hand in writing this article. Perhaps a progeny who was directly involved in some of the court cases among the Nelsons and Harmons. If, in fact, the best reliable sources assert that Nelson's affairs actually were as important as his performing career, a quote about that statement should come from a very good source.

I wrote Roy Orbison's article, and I understand the issue above about sources writing about the "juicy" parts of the subject's life. One of the biographies I used was rather determined to place undue and frankly odd emphasis on the writer's view that Orbison was a hapless underachiever who tripped into fame by accident, and the book is designed to paint him as a mediocre guy in extraordinary circumstances. Orbison's life was nowhere near as vibrantly sexual as Ricky Nelson's (an impression that is really backed up in this article), so the biographer slipped in shocking tidbits about other artists, for some reason explaining that only parts of Patsy Cline were found after her airplane accident. So what to do as a Wikipedia editor? Weed out that wtf? in the biography and stick only to the facts. --Moni3 (talk) 14:24, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Unfortunately, biographers can pretty much write what they want after the subject is dead. Former friends and family members with a grudge to bear will say whatever they want, whatever it takes to get their comments into print, and therefore, make them semi-famous. Rick's image was so clean-cut while he was alive that any hint of scandal or wrongdoing was lapped up by the media after his death. This article, as it stands now, is not one I would recommend to friends for a basic overview of Rick's life. There is far too much questionable information, too much tabloid type gossip. (Lonely Summer (talk) 22:05, 10 January 2012 (UTC))

I thank whoever took some pruning shears to the personal relationships section of this article. Much better; much more encyclopedic. TuckerResearch (talk) 03:18, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

"Rio Bravo", "High Noon" Same Movie[edit]

"Rio Bravo" and "High Noon" seem to be the same movie--beleaguered sheriff, bad guy in jail, stand-off against gang. Anybody know how this happened? Was it deliberate? Also, Ricky Nelson in "Rio Bravo" rubs his finger alongside his nose just like Montgomery Clift in "Red River", both films directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne. Anybody know the significance of that or why it was done? (talk) 21:04, 11 May 2010 (UTC)Sgt. Rock

Why don't you search on these little things called Wikipedia or Google? There are very simple answers to some of these questions. As for the finger rubbing on the nose, Hawks liked his actors to have little quirky movements. TuckerResearch (talk) 02:19, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

a later appearance on Ed Sullivan?[edit]

OK, I see the note about not appearing on American Bandstand or on Ed Sullivan. However, I do recall reading recently that he appeared on Ed Sullivan in 1967, with his career by then "in limbo". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:27, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

I don't know what was in this Wikipedia article when the above was written. Perhaps delete the section of the talk page you are reading? That 1967 Ed Sullivan appearance is noted, and the earlier non-appearances on that and on American Bandstand were during the run of "Ozzie and Harriet", which ended in 1966. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:22, 11 March 2014 (UTC)


If Rick's parents kept him strapped for cash, how could be be accustomed to affluence, and have a cavalier attitude about money. Aren't these contradictory? (talk) 07:14, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

"93-percent income-tax bracket"? Was income tax ever that high in the US? (talk) 19:03, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Nearly. In the nineteen fifties and sixties, the top US income tax bracket was 91%. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rainbow-five (talkcontribs) 18:12, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

confusion about Helen Blair[edit]

I see this about Helen Blair, who died along with Rick Nelson:

"He contemplated marrying her but eventually declined."

How does that fit in with the account (including in this Wikipedia article) that he was engaged to Helen Blair when they were killed?

Also, I notice controversy in the burial of Helen Blair. Not that I'd look it up or cause it to be looked up, but does anyone know where she was eventually buried? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:16, 11 March 2014 (UTC)