As a cast member on his parents' TV series, “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”, teenager Ricky Nelson may have been the first rock'n'roller to use television as a springboard to stardom. Once his singing talent was discovered, his parents promoted and nurtured it by having Ricky close many weekly episodes with a song. The process worked, catapulting him to wealth, fame and a place in music history decades before the advent of “musictelevision” networks like MTV and MuchMusic. Ricky's father, Ozzie Nelson, was a successful, well connected bandleader with a talent for business and a keen understanding of the music industry and the media. So it didn't take him long to arrange a recording contract for Ricky at Verve Records. His faith in his son was not misplaced. In 1957, “Ricky”, his debut album, went to #1. In 1958, his first single, “Poor Little Fool”, went to #1. Hits like his cover of Fats Domino's “I'm Walkin” then the hits “Believe What You Say”, “Hello Mary Lou”, “Stood Up”, “Travelin' Man” and others soon followed. For a guy barely in his 20s, an amazing accomplishment. In the course of his career, Ricky Nelson appeared in numerous movies and television shows. He won a Grammy, earned a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into The Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. His records still sell and he was a popular concert attraction until his untimely death in a plane crash on New Years Eve 1985.
Singer/actor Don Thompson has been a Ricky Nelson fan since he was a young teenager himself. Singing Nelson's songs and acting out his screen roles for the kids at school was great fun, but making a career out of it was the furthest thing from Don's mind. But time has a way of altering the course of our lives. For Don, an unexpected opportunity came along and his show business friends convinced him that not doing a tribute to his hero Ricky Nelson would be a waste of his talent. Booking agents and audiences everywhere from Toronto to La Vegas to Miami agreed and he was soon on his way to a busy and rewarding career as one of the most popular tribute artists in the business.