Ricky Nelson’s Son Says His Father Faced ‘Difficult’ Schedule as a Teen Idol During ‘Ozzie and Harriet’

The eagle hangs on the porch by lighting a fire on a set of Ozzie and Harriet fun it was not a TV show. It was similar to the one that adorned the fire of a real Nelson family home in a gated community near Runyon Canyon in LA “Every day, he gets out of bed and goes ‘home’ to work,” Gunnar Nelson, one of Ricky Nelson’s sons, says About. “It must be surreal.”

From 1952 to 1966, Ricky, his older brother, David, and their parents, Ozzie and Harriet, remained the first American couple. “That’s what made the program work – a real family that plays a real family on television,” says Gunnar. But what the audience saw on the screen is still speculative, and the prospect of achieving the perfection of their TV pictures left Nelson’s boys with little room to grow, make mistakes or find themselves real.

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Contrary to his controversial role in television, Ozzie was a brilliant soldier who earned a law degree but did not do anything when his big team won the 1930s. Producer, producer, director and star of Ozzie and Harriet she had every part of the list – including making her children’s sketches on the pictures.

“It simply came to our notice then. What father doesn’t want to write a script for his children? ” he asks Joel Selvin, author of Ricky Nelson: Idol for a Generation. Ever since he joined the family business, at the age of 8 and 12, Ricky and David have been informed of their responsibilities – especially after their TV sets. Gunnar explains: “The words were ethical, meaning that all their actions, everywhere and outside the set, were constantly monitored.” Ozzie reminded them that 45 people – including their parents – would not be working if the boys acted like teenagers. . “

Not surprisingly, Ricky’s youthful rebellion was moderate. “She began to hate him,” says Selvin. “He slept and did not come in public. They would send him a car and bring it back, but he tore up the script and hid it. ”

His music and classes at Hollywood High, where Ricky excelled in tennis, should have allowed him to enjoy his independence, but Ozzie was quick to add to his children’s real interests in the script. For the first time, Ricky worked hard on Fats Domino’s song “I’m Walkin” in a segment called “Ricky, the Drummer.”

Viewers loved it. In 1958, his song “Poor Little Fool,” which came out on his second album, became Ricky No. 1’s first single. She is 16 years old Life called him a “youthful idol.” “Since then, the reality has been different from the stories that have taken place,” explains Gunnar. “Pop leaves for Weekends and Sundays to see and perform, then returns on Monday and Monday and puts on” jersey. That must have been difficult for him. ”

However, Ricky’s life was not his own. After marrying 17-year-old Kristin Harmon in 1963, she became a new member of the show. Football legend Tom Harmon (and older sister of NCISMark Harmon), Kristin played Ricky’s wife.

Ricky Nelson '' Tough 'Work: How They Walk and Sing
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Although Ricky wanted to be independent, he considered himself worthless Ozzie and Harriet fun was first published in 1966. “I did not know what I wanted to do. I was not worried about money or work, but I had no real interest in work, ”he confessed. Ricky then went back to music and started to sound really good. In 1972, he wrote his last song, “Garden Party”.

Three years later, Ozzie died at the age of 68 from liver cancer. After many years of his rule and involvement in their lives, Nelson found himself on the move. “He was a true northman – a group that connected the line of kings,” says Gunnar. “It’s all over.”

Ricky’s troubled marriage erupted in a flurry of magazines that appeared in magazines that included alcoholism, drug abuse, financial ruin, and child rearing. “We were completely devastated, both of us,” admitted Kris.

Things got worse – and surreal – before the ink dried on their divorce. “When Rick went on a tour,” says Selvin, “Kris backed up the car and grabbed all the seats. Harriet, who regained her composure after Ozzie’s death, gave her needy daughter a Christmas light. “Remember,” recalls Selvin, “that Harriet had enough money. But she had raised $ 35 to buy her son’s best light when she went down and turned it off.

Despite these turbulent beats, Ricky continued to pursue his goal of making music. “It is a commendation of her dedication to her music career because no one advised her to continue,” explains Selvin, who believes Ricky was on the right track to “get back to fundamental rock and roll” when he died at the age of 45 on a plane. fell with his new girlfriend, Helen Blair, and five members of his group in 1985.

“Not a day goes by that I do not feel honored to share in my father’s wonderful heritage,” says Gunnar, whose twin brother, Matthew, paid tribute to his father’s music and TV program. Ricky Nelson Remembers in 2020. “In the end, he lived and died on a rock ‘n’ roll. It’s important not to forget that. He was the real deal.”

– Fortune Benatar reports

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