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Ricky Nelson Hey Pretty Baby - Rare Imperial Recordings (LP)

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These days, quite rare Ricky Nelson collector's Vinyl LP, mastered by Bob Jones at CTS Studios,... more

Ricky Nelson: Hey Pretty Baby - Rare Imperial Recordings (LP)

These days, quite rare Ricky Nelson collector's Vinyl LP, mastered by Bob Jones at CTS Studios, Wembley.

In retrospect it seems that Ricky Nelson could hardly fail to make his mark in the entertainment industry. Showbiz was certainly in his blood, his father Ozzie Nelson had one of the top radio dance bands in the thirties and his mother Harriet was a vocalist with the band. Eric Hilliard Nelson was born in Teaneck, New Jersey on May 8th 1940 and when he was four years old his parents launched a weekly radio series, 'The Adventures of Ozzie 8: Harriet' attracting nearly twenty million listeners at its peak. It came as no surprise when Ricky Nelson and his older brother David were inducted into the series at the end of the forties, a few years before the programme was transferred to television. In 1956 a man named Presley turned the music business inside out. Nelson was a keen Elvis fan and essayed a tongue-in-cheek take-off of his idol on the “Ozzie &, Harriet' show, which resulted in a deluge of fan mail pouring in! Early in 1957 Ricky Nelson cut three sides for the 'Verve' label and his very first release, Fats Domino's 'I'm Walkin' coupled with the schmaltzy “A Teenager's Romance' was a million seller, though the follow-up 'You`re My One And Only Love' didn't fare so well. Enter Lew Chudd, a pal of Ozzie Nelson and owner of “Imperial Records', who promptly signed Nelson to the label. During the next few years he cut some of the most exciting rock 'n” roll ever made, with the assistance of a brilliant studio band in which the key figure was lead guitarist James Burton. The tracks on this album are all taken from this classic period, let's take a closer look at its contents.


1. One Of These Momings

Prominent slappin” bass leads into a jerky, atmospheric rocker with Ricky Nelson in fine vocal form. Just the right amount of echo and James Burton`s short but effective guitar break, sets the seal on a production of which Sam Phillips (legendary owner of Sun Records) would have been proud. Hear how cleverly Ricky Nelson and the band evoke the train sound, fitting in nicely with the songs theme.

2. I`m Feelin' SorryNelson takes this at a fairly gentle pace and handles a country-flavoured ballad usually associated with Jerry Lee Lewis, in his customary, no-frills, straightforward style. Originally from his second “Imperial' album 'Ricky Nelson' and released in July 1958, Jerry Lee's recording predated Ricky's version by some nine months.

3. Believe What You SayNelson and the boys go into overdrive on this classic rockin' opus, surely the finest to ?ow from the pens of the Burnette brothers and featuring another “killer break' from James Burton. This is my favourite track by Ricky Nelson and here we have THE version, minus that chorus which I always thought to be intrusive and superfluous.

4. Your True Love Ricky`s affection for the *Sun* sound-especially Carl Perkins' work on the label-has been well documented, his “Imperial' albums being liberally sprinkled with such numbers as “Down The Line*, “Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On' together with Carl 's own tunes like 'Boppin` The Blues' and “Your True Love“. When Carl re-united with his former “Sun' colleagues Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash (in September 1985) Nelson just had to be there! As you might expect, quite different from Carl's version (more pop, less hillbilly) with some nice touches from Ricky's first lead guitarist Joe Maphis.

5. My Bucket”s Got A Hole In It Coupled with “Believe What You Say' as a single release, this was recorded at the same session that produced the aforementioned track. R. Nelson trans- forms the old Hank Williams song into a great rock'n'roll workout, where vocally he's less restrained than usual. Tremendous presence and clarity on these old 'Imperial' tracks.

6. Don't Leave Me This Way A pleasant mid-tempo ballad in its own right-featuring a marvellous flowing guitar solo from James Burton-this was on the flipside of 'Poor Little Fool“, one of Ricky's real biggies, peaking at No.4 in Britain during the summer of '58. Self-penned and a pleasing contrast to the previous track, it was the first of his own compositions he committed to wax.

7. You Tear Me Up
Mid-paced rocker with a prominent bass line and chorus, not so wild as the title might suggest, but ideally suited to Ricky's style. Baker Knight songs were a feature of Ricky”s 'Imperial' output and this composition is one of three by him that appeared on the album “Ricky Nelson Sings Again' issued in late 1958.

8. I'll Walk Alone
This lovely melody was a number one hit for Dinah Shore way back in 1944 and penned by two of the most prolific writers of that period, Sammy Cahn and Jules Styne. It was one of the few ballads amongst a wealth of rockers featured on his second 'Imperial' album 'Ricky Nelson“, generally considered to be the finest of his fifties LP releases.


1. Hey Pretty Baby
Our title track, it was the outstanding song on the “More Songs By Ricky' album. This is another Burnette rocker, which is slightly unusual as it doesn't have a guitar break but a strumming, Holly-ish backing with chorus well to-the-fore. The musicians involved on the session, along with James Burton were Joe Osborne (bass), Ray Johnson (piano) and Ritchie Frost (drums).

2. Stop Sneakin' Around
Another Baker Knight rocker with strong piano and chorus, highlighted by a superb solo from» Burton which lifts this number out of the ordinary category. It's taken from Ricky's excellent “Album Seven' LP released in June 1962.

3. Everybody But Me
These wistful beat-ballads were tailor-made for R. Nelson, who handles this Dave Burgess penned, tale of adolescent loneliness splendidly. It first saw theôlight of day on the “Rick Is 21' album, his sixth for 'Imperial' in June 1961

4. You'll Never Know What You're Missing
A song reminiscent of Presley's “Treat Me Nice' and punctuated by one of those stinging Burton lead solos that jumps out of the grooves! The Jordanaires-style back-up vocals fill out the arrangement nicely on a song originally from the “Songs By Ricky' album, issued in September 1959.

5. My One Desire
This jaunty toe-tapper set to a shufflin' infectious riff, is another track from the 'Rick Is 21' album. Maestro James Burton again comes through with a dynamic solo, supported by some surprisingly powerful bass guitar work from Joe Osborne.

6. A Long Vacation R. Nelson does his Bo Diddley thing, a beat once described by Johnny Otis as “a shave and haircut rhythm', but really gets closer to Holly's 'Not Fade Away' The arrival of the chorus sees the combo revert to a much faster, more typical, rockin” rhythm. An unusual number from the pen of Dorsey Burnette, this was chosen as the title track for a 1963 U.S. album release.

7. That Warm Summer Night
Ricky Nelson handles this slow ballad with his customary warmth and the backing is suitably subdued. A sure-fire bet this will become your girl's favourite track on the album - a very romantic number, evoking memories of the G-Clefs 1961 hit 'I Understand'.

8. One Minute To One One suspects that James Burton thought this pleasant pop-rocker needed beefng-up, as his solo almost seems out of place and suited to a more driving, urgent piece. Effortless vocal by Ricky Nelson.

There are some critics who feel Ricky Nelson was a musical lightweight and a media-created personality. They will point to the showbiz connections, ready-made exposure for his records and undoubted good-looks, as major factors in his success. For the more macho elements of the rock'n'roll fraternity he was probably too restrained and casual, a comparison of Presley`s impassioned “Tryin' To Get To You' and Ricky's own version will graphically illustrate the two mens differing approaches.

Yet it was Ricky's own understated, natural, almost boyish handling of a tune that made him one of the most identifiable voices in the business, furthermore he retained this trademark throughout his career. He could, however, rock with the best of them and must have been a revelation to many on the recent tour here (November 1985)-one of the most exciting acts ever witnessed! Ricky Nelson died in a plane crash in Texas last New Year's Eve, en route to a Dallas concert. He was a consummate professional with impeccable taste which is borne-out by the variety of his work and the high quality of the bands who supported him, both on stage and record. We can ill afford to lose stars of his status. This fine album is a fitting tribute to one of rock'n'roll's best-loved and most enduring stars.

Article properties: Ricky Nelson: Hey Pretty Baby - Rare Imperial Recordings (LP)

  • Interpret: Ricky Nelson

  • Album titlle: Hey Pretty Baby - Rare Imperial Recordings (LP)

  • Genre Rock'n'Roll

  • Label ROCKSTAR

  • Year of publication 1986
  • Geschwindigkeit 33 U/min
  • Vinyl Size LP (12 Inch)
  • Record Grading Mint (M)
  • Sleeve Grading Mint (M)
  • Artikelart LP

  • EAN: 4000127783288

  • weight in Kg 0.21
Nelson, Ricky - Hey Pretty Baby - Rare Imperial Recordings (LP) LP 1
01 One Of These Mornings
02 I'm Feelin' Sorry
03 Believe What You Say
04 Your True Love
05 My Buckets Got A Hole In It
06 Don't Leave Me This Way
07 You Tear Me Up
08 I'll Walk Alone
09 Hey Pretty Baby
10 Stop Sneakin' Around
11 Everybody But Me
12 You'll Never Know What You're Missing
13 My One Desire
14 A Long Vacation
15 That Warm Summer Night
16 One Minute To One.
Ricky Nelson aka Rick Nelson   Born 8. 5. 1940 in Teaneck - New Jersey died 31.... more
"Ricky Nelson"

Ricky Nelson aka Rick Nelson


Born 8. 5. 1940 in Teaneck - New Jersey died 31. 12. 1985 

Ultimately, it all came down to music. Rick Nelson came of age in the rock 'n' roll era, and was on his way to play rock 'n' roll the night he died. He wasn't quite there at the beginning, not in the sense that Elvis, Bill Haley, or Little Richard were, but, in not quite being present at the creation, he was like millions of kids who understood just how and why rock 'n' roll was theirs. It hadn't been created for them by adults; it was for, by, and about themselves.

Rick Nelson wasn't in music for recognition; he was one of the most recognizable faces in the country before he made his first record. He wasn't in it for the money, either; the best guess is that he had a half-million dollars stashed in trust accounts before he sang his first note. He simply wanted to sing rock 'n' roll. And if he wasn't quite there at the beginning, he can still lay claim to one innovation: when he sang on the family sitcom, 'The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet,' he became the first rock 'n' roll singer to harness music and video on a regular basis. They used to say that too much TV meant too much exposure, but Rick Nelson proved that people would buy what they could get for free, and might even buy more of it.

Eric Hilliard 'Rick' Nelson was the younger son of Harriet Hilliard Nelson (born Peggy Lou Snyder) and Oswald 'Ozzie' Nelson. Harriet's father was a director, and she was on-stage when she was six weeks old. Ozzie was already the hitmaking leader of his own dance band when they met on New Year's Eve, 1932. They married in October 1935, the year of Ozzie's biggest hit, And Then Some. Their first son, David, was born on October 24, 1936, and Rick was born in Teaneck, New Jersey on May 8, 1940. One year later, the Nelsons moved to Los Angeles so that Ozzie and Harriet could work on Red Skelton's 'Raleigh Cigarette Program' on NBC radio. When Skelton was drafted in 1944, Ozzie developed the idea of spinning a radio sitcom from his family life. On October 8, 1944, 'The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet' made its debut on CBS. David and Rick were written into the scripts from the beginning, and began playing themselves as of February 1949. Recording tape was introduced that year, enabling Ozzie to edit out bloopers and prerecord the shows without interfering with the boys' schooling. In 1952, the sitcom spawned a hit movie, 'Here Come The Nelsons,' which in turn convinced Ozzie that it was time to move to television. 'The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet' first aired on ABC-TV on October 3, 1952. The 435th and last episode was filmed on January 1, 1966, and aired that September.

Rick was fifteen when rock 'n' roll erupted. He was a fan, while Ozzie's response was that of the quintessential Fifties adult. "Harriet and I were slowly being blasted out of the house by a barrage of twanging guitars, thumping drums, and undistinguishable grunts," he wrote later. Rick loved it all, but he especially loved the spare, echoey primitive Sun Records sound. He would go in many directions over the next thirty years, but would ultimately return to that Sun sound. There's something about the music you hear during a critical, formative period, and the music Rick heard was rockabilly. He bought the Sun hits, and searched out the more obscure Sun records where marginal musicianship, giddy testosterone levels, and Southern nights converged. "My main idol,"  he said later, "was Carl Perkins. I really idolized him and wanted to sound like him."

from booklet BCD16856 - Ricky Nelson Ricky Nelson - Ricky Rocks
Read more at:
Copyright © Bear Family Records



The American Legend


Everybody knew what a rockabilly singer was: a tough young man (or, occasionally, girl) from a hardscrabble deep-South background. He'd picked cotton as a child, and learned to play a guitar he'd patched together from a cigar box, broomstick and window screen wire. He learned his first songs from black field hands, or perhaps the 'Grand Ole Opry'broadcasts from Nashville.

Then there was Ricky Nelson. Born in New Jersey to a veteran show business family, he was a national radio and television star before he first stepped up to a recording studio microphone, at the age of sixteen. Raised in Hollywood, he dated starlets.

But there was another side to young Ricky Nelson. He discovered country music on radio and television broadcasts, and the first record he bought was by his favorite singer and great inspiration, Carl Perkins, While he grew up surrounded by jazz musicians -- his father had been a nationally prominent bandleader -- he recorded most of his biggest hits with a band headed by two youngsters from Shreveport, Louisiana.

It all came together in a recording and performing career that lasted until his unanticipated death in an airplane crash on the way from one show to another -- ironically emulating many of his predecessors and contemporaries, notably Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. 'The Big Bopper' Richardson.

A certain degree of Ricky (later, 'Rick') Nelson's success could be credited to his weekly television exposure. How, then, to explain his nineteen top-40 hits in England? "Over in England," fan Paul McCartney has explained, "we knew nothing about the Nelson [TV] show -- to us, he was the famous one in the family."

So how did this unprecedented and unduplicated combination of life and music occur? Elvis Presley was in the Army for a substantial portion of Ricky's Imperial years, but that's not only the sole answer, it isn't even the main answer. Lorrie Collins, of The Collins Kids, ventures that "he was serious, not a flash in the pan like some of the TV stars who made records. Rick had the talent and he had the longing; when you have that, the difference will shine through. And he had the best people in Hollywood back him up."

John Fogerty, who claims Nelson as an early influence, says the answer is simple: "Ricky's records had all of the best ingredients...great songs, great singing, great band -- did I say great guitar?

"He made some of the best records in rock and roll."

* * *

Today, when Americans refer to living an 'Ozzie and Harriet' kind of life, they're speaking of a kind of idealized family: happily married mother and father, two reasonably well-behaved children, and no problem that can't be eliminated with little more than a heart-to-heart conversation. It's become kind of a shorthand, a cliché, even among people too young to know who Ozzie and Harriet were.

In the 1950s, though, it seemed as though everybody in the United States knew Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, and their teenaged sons David and Ricky. The family could be seen every week for fourteen years in a popular television situation comedy; playing themselves and using their real names. The Nelsons' TV house was a near-accurate reproduction of the family's real-life home, and their next-door neighbor, 'Thorny' Thornberry (played by Don DeFore), was based on the Nelsons' real-life next-door neighbor, a fellow named Thornbury.

A popular joke of the day had it that nobody knew what Ozzie -- the TV character -- did for a living. As Ozzie Nelson points out in his autobiography, his seeming joblessness (he seemed to be always around the house, often in search of a dish of tutti-frutti ice cream) was a canard. "...We have always tried to keep the show honest...when we started on radio back in 1944, I was a bandleader both on the show and in real life, and if I were suddenly to become a plumber or an insurance salesman, it would simply not ring true...Our scenes were almost always played as if it were a Saturday or Sunday...I did occasionally go downtown to an office, but I never designated the kind of work that I did because by my not designating a specific job, people were able to identify with me more readily." Anybody who watched regularly would notice that Ozzie -- the character -- had a lot of musician friends, and that there were occasional musical interludes on the program.

From New Jersey To Hollywood

Oswald George 'Ozzie' Nelson -- the actor -- a graduate of Rutgers University in New Jersey, had led one of the more popular 'sweet' bands of the 1930s and early 1940s, with hits including About A Quarter To Nine, I'll Never Say 'Never Again' Again, At Long Last Love, and (it wasn't a commercial success, but is well-remembered as an example of the dry Nelson wit) I'm Looking For A Guy Who Plays Alto And Baritone And Doubles On A Clarinet And Wears A Size 37 Suit. Well, musicians loved it.

The Nelson band's girl singer was a pert Iowan named Peggy Lou Snyder, raised in a theatrical family and appearing professionally as Harriet Hilliard. She debuted with Ozzie's band in June, 1932; her brief marriage to comic Roy Sedley was annulled in 1933; and she and Ozzie married on October 8, 1935. Scouted by RKO films, Harriet left for Hollywood where she was featured -- as a last-minute substitute for Irene Dunne -- in the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers vehicle, 'Follow The Fleet.'Ozzie remained in New York City, where he was radio bandleader; first on a program headlined by comedian Joe Penner, then on Robert Ripley's 'Believe It Or Not.'

An advertising executive, aware of the Nelsons' chemistry as a couple as well as their talent, suggested that the two appear together on radio. There was one condition: he wanted the family (which by then included elder son David, born October 24, 1936) to relocate to Hollywood, where Harriet's film career (two more roles since 'Follow The Fleet') was keeping the couple separated. Ozzie wrote that he wasn't sure that he could support his band on radio salary alone. Record sales weren't terrific, and there were relatively few venues suitable for his band in Los Angeles, but the agency made an offer that persuaded the Nelsons to trek West, with a personal entourage and fourteen musicians in tow.

Ricky Nelson The American Dream (6-CD)
Read more at:
Copyright © Bear Family Records


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