Only the good die young: Jimmie Haskell revisits hit records with Rick Nelson

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Drop dead gorgeous and definitely cast against type, Rick Nelson is a flute playing Pied Piper who persuades inexperienced young girls to become prostitutes in “Harem”, a second season episode from “The Streets of San Francisco” broadcast on September 5, 1973. Image Credit: ABC Photo Archives / Getty Images
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A defiant Rick Nelson accentuates the finale of one of his patented rockabilly rave-ups with a fist pump at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne, Australia, on his second, ultimately final tour of the country during the first week of October 1985. Photography by Bonnie Griffiths / Pinterest

The Jimmie Haskell Interview, Part Two

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Jimmie Haskell, a scrawny, wet-behind-the-ears Rick Nelson, and visiting session guest, seated rockabilly singer Bob Luman, listen to a playback of a rockin’ cut inside Master Recorders on 533 North Fairfax Avenue, Hollywood, California, circa 1957. Image Credit: The Jimmie Haskell Collection
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Circa April 1962, Rick Nelson, Jimmie Haskell, and United Recording Studio owner Bill Putnam attend a party for the opening of Western Recorders in Hollywood, California. Nelson commenced sessions at Western on June 13, 1962, scoring right off the bat with Jerry Fuller’s “It’s Up to You.” Image Credit: The Jimmie Haskell Collection / Courtesy of Sheree Homer
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Rick Nelson, songwriter Jerry Fuller, and Glen Campbell rib each other while tracking background vocals circa 1965. Image Credit: Pinterest
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A personally autographed inscription from Ozzie Nelson to a fan reads, “To Ralph, Good luck always from Ozzie.” The still was most likely taken in the late 1930s when Nelson spearheaded one of the most popular swing and dance orchestras in the New York area. Between 1930 and 1940, the elder Nelson notched a staggering 38 Top 20 pop singles on the Brunswick and Bluebird record labels, respectively, including the number one “And Then Some” and the near chart-topper “White Sails [Beneath a Yellow Moon].” Image Credit: PicsofCelebrities.com
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Between June 12 and 17, 1957, a smouldering 22-year-old Elvis Presley poses inside Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios publicizing his iconic “Jailhouse Rock” film. Photography by Virgil Apger / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Elvis Presley Photo Shoot Sessions
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Rick Nelson and Jimmie Haskell attend to string overdubs for the hauntingly beautiful “Life” single A-side on June 10, 1971, inside United Recording Studios, 6050 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, California. Image Credit: The Jimmie Haskell Collection
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Jimmie Haskell conducts the orchestra accompanying Jose Feliciano, seated in the background over Haskell’s left shoulder, during the Concert of Hope for Pope Benedict XVI at Yankee Stadium in New York City on April 20, 2008. Image Credit: The Jimmie Haskell Collection
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Rick Nelson and constant companion Helen Blair attend a glamorous black tie event in Los Angeles circa 1985. Image Credit: Michelson / ZUMA Press / Alamy Stock Photo
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On November 7, 2014, Jimmie Haskell celebrated his 88th birthday with son David Haskell at the Montage Laguna Beach hotel in Orange County, California. David is professionally cataloging all of the music that his legendary father worked on during an impressive 65-year career and hopes to soon publish his dad’s memoir. Image courtesy of David Haskell
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Plagued by mechanical problems that had bandmates dreading every time they boarded it, the 14-seat, 1944 Douglas DC-3 airplane sits forebodingly at the Guntersville, Alabama, airport mere hours before the fateful flight that claimed the lives of Rick Nelson, girlfriend Helen Blair, four bandmates, and road manager Clark Russell. Miraculously both pilots escaped the fiery inferno which actually landed. Photography by Buddy Taylor
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“Don’t feel sorry for things, ’cause can’t you see, I’m still me, and I just can’t quit:” A beaming 45-year-old Rick Nelson sports a skinny tie, gray sport coat, and black slacks backstage on December 30, 1985, at PJ’s Alley in Guntersville, Alabama, a nightclub owned by former bandmate Pat Upton. Nelson, fiancé Helen Blair, bassist Patrick Woodward, drummer Ricky Intveld, keyboardist Andy Chapin, lead guitarist Bobby Neal, and road manager/soundman Clark Russell all perished on New Year’s Eve en route to another show in Dallas. Image Credit: The Ken Spooner Collection / SpoonerCentral.com
Click to hear Rick Nelson evocatively deliver “I Need You,” featuring James Burton and Glen Campbell on acoustic guitars. Written by the always dependable Baker Knight, the dreamy ballad was dropped as the B-side of “It’s Up to You” in November 1962, gaining a sliver of chart action on Billboard at No. 83 Pop. Video Credit: YouTube user Gerrienails; Music Credit: Universal Music Group

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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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