Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


In the late Fifties, many American teenagers had two must-sees on television:  Dick Clark's American Bandstand and Ozzie and Harriet, the latter solely because of Ricky Nelson.  Face it, Dad Ozzie was kind of a dithering dud, whose most forceful scenes was when he said, "Well, gee, Thorny."  And Mom Harriet was too good to be true -- and boring.  Older brother David?  He was the kid who made drying paint interesting.  The Nelsons were a whitebread family from a whitebread age.  But with his shy smile, clean-cut looks, and relaxed singing style, Ricky became a teenage heartthrob.  We had known Ricky for many years, from the days when he was a geeky-looking pre-teen.  By 1957, however, viewers saw a new Ricky -- one who could sing, play the drums, and (sort of) dance.  By the time he became Rick Nelson, he had a much better handle on rock and roll and his whitebread days would soon be behind him.

     From April 7, 1957, the episode titled "Ricky the Drummer":

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