Living in the shadow of a teenage idol: David Nelson enters the limelight

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Still handsome and dashing at age 51, David Nelson flashes a winning smile on the set of the documentary “Rick Nelson: A Brother Remembers,” which aired November 16, 1987. Nelson executive produced and directed the fondly remembered, if extremely rare, one hour special distributed by the Disney channel. Photography by Nick Ut
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Comrades-in-arms David Nelson and younger brother-teen heartthrob Rick Nelson are captured by their backyard swimming pool at 1822 Camino Palmero in Los Angeles, California, circa 1958, at the apex of their celebrity. Photography by Gene Howard

The Sam Nelson and Philip Bashe Interview

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In 1958 a polka dot red shirt-sporting Rick Nelson picks some hot rockabilly licks on a matching cherry red Gretsch electric guitar while elder brother David Nelson good-naturedly observes the action. Image Credit: LGI Stock / Corbis / VCG via Getty Images
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Sam Nelson, big sister Tracy Nelson, and their Uncle David Nelson attend a USPS stamp unveiling recognizing “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” at the TV Academy in North Hollywood, California, on August 11, 2009. Twenty TV shows from the Golden Age of Television were commemorated on that occasion including “The Tonight Show” and “The Lone Ranger.” Photography by Kathy Hutchins
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The Flying Nelsons! Rick Nelson and elder brother David Nelson portray a flawless flying trapeze act in “The Circus,” perhaps the most expensive episode of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” Broadcast on January 27, 1960, the teleplay later prompted David to pursue his admiration for circus acrobatics on a professional level, where he served as his team’s catcher. Image Credit: Archive Photos / Getty Images
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Ozzie Nelson, eldest son David Nelson, and youngest child Rick Nelson enjoy a summer backyard shower courtesy of ever-patient mom Harriet Nelson circa 1952. The family’s 1822 Camino Palmero Street home in Los Angeles was the epitome of middle class American values, exemplified by their radio series, “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” getting picked up by the then-fledgling ABC television network. Image Credit: Peter Jones Productions / American Broadcasting Company
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In director Andre de Toth’s “Day of the Outlaw,” David Nelson portrays Gene, a well-intentioned young man mixed up in renegade former U.S. Army captain Burl Ives’ nefarious gang. Filmed in central Oregon at Dutchman Flat and Todd Lake Meadows near the town of Bend in late November and early December 1958, the bleak, black and white snowscapes create a noirish element for this vastly underappreciated western. Distributed on July 22, 1959, by United Artists, moviegoers preferred to spend most of their dollars catching younger brother Rick Nelson, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson, and John Wayne headlining the box office Technicolor smash “Rio Bravo,” unleashed some three months earlier. Image Credit: Sunset Boulevard / Corbis via Getty Images / Toby Roan’s 50 Westerns from the 50s
Watch David Nelson and younger brother Rick Nelson unleash a revealing and lighthearted interview broadcast on October 8, 1981, for “The Tomorrow Show,” a long-running NBC late night series [1973–1982]. The conversation was conducted by Los Angeles news anchor Kelly Lange, substituting for regular host Tom Snyder. Video Credit: NBCUniversal

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Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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