Too scared to fly: Sam Nelson’s musical odyssey to his legendary father

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Rick Nelson gently pets family dog Byron, a sweet boy sort of a cross between a mutt and sheep dog, in a shot used for the gatefold package of the “Windfall” album, released on January 14, 1974. The 33-year-old “Don’t Leave Me Here” singer was at the height of his artistic powers at the time. Photography by John Longenecker / Universal Music Group / Courtesy of Sheree Homer
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A radiant Rick Nelson and wife Kristin Harmon depart a Burbank, California hospital with fourth and final child Sam Nelson, born on August 29, 1974. Image Credit: Globe Photos

The Complete Sam Nelson / Rick Nelson Interview

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Rick Nelson, youngest son Sam [born on August 29, 1974], and a cuddly pet dog prepare for an awesome day of sailing in Lake Arrowhead, California. Image Credit: The Kris Nelson Collection / Courtesy of Sheree Homer
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Handsome actor-singer Rick Nelson is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1515 Vine Street on September 17, 1975, as wife Kristin Harmon and kids Tracy, identical twins Gunnar and Mathew, and 13-month-old baby Sam revel in the festivities. Photography by Ulvis Alberts / Globe Photos
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“The creative soul, may it ever fly free:” Presenting the cover of ‘Pop Songs: Tribute to Rick Nelson,’ a mighty good nine-song EP by Sam Nelson released to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the death of his esteemed singer-songwriter father on December 31, 2015. Image courtesy of Sam Nelson / One Iron Records
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Two years after the tragic death of his father, legendary rock and roller Rick Nelson, Sam Nelson is cradled by mother Kristin Harmon in a photo for the Sept. 7, 1987 issue of People magazine. The duo’s relationship was severely strained at the time. Image Credit: Time Inc.
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Inscribed in black felt tip “To George — All good wishes, Harriet & Ozzie.” Harriet and Ozzie Nelson are featured in a publicity image announcing the Sept. 10, 1972, pilot launch of the short-lived “Ozzie’s Girls” sitcom, a spin-off of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” Image Credit: iCollector.com / Live Auction Group
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Sam Nelson is obviously the Nelson progeny who resembles his late father the most in this casual selfie from 2011. Image courtesy of Sam Nelson
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Sam Nelson, Rick Nelson’s youngest child, captured onstage during an intense H is Orange performance, circa 2009. Image courtesy of Sam Nelson
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An autographed photo depicting L.A. based alternative hard rock band H is Orange circa 2001, featuring primary songwriter Sam Nelson (second from right) on lead vocals. Nelson is the fourth child of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Rick Nelson. Photography by Rudy Arias / Courtesy of Jessica Feinerman Fuentes‎
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Rick Nelson sports a skinny tie and gray sport coat on December 30, 1985 during his final concert held at PJ’s Alley nightclub in Guntersville, Alabama. Nelson, fiancé Helen Blair, and five other band members died on New Year’s Eve en route to another show in Dallas. Image Credit: The Ken Spooner Collection / SpoonerCentral.com
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Sam Nelson, uncle David Nelson, and older sister Tracy Nelson attend “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” stamp unveiling at the TV Academy in Hollywood on August 11, 2009. Photography by Roger Karnbad / Contact Music
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It’s a boy! Proud papa Rick Nelson and beaming wife Kris Nelson leave the hospital en route to their Studio City, California home — nicknamed “The Farm — with baby Sam, shortly after his August 29, 1974 birth. Image Credit: Globe Photos
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Sam Nelson gives away only sister Tracy Nelson, best known as “Sister Stephanie” on the television series “The Father Dowling Mysteries,” during her wedding to fellow actor William R. Moses on July 25, 1987, in Southern California. Image Credit: The Tracy Kristine Nelson Collection / Facebook
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Roughly a year after forming the Stone Canyon Band, Rick Nelson hits a lick on his Gibson ES-350 electric guitar featuring P90 pickups during a March 24, 1970 club appearance in Darmstadt, Germany, part of the artist’s tour of U.S. military bases. Photography by Lloyd Borguss / Stars and Stripes
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A photo featured inside the gatefold LP package for Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band’s “Windfall,” released on January 14, 1974. The “One Night Stand” country rocker was 33 years old at the time. Photography by John Longenecker / Universal Music Group / Courtesy of Sheree Homer
“‘Cause I can’t go on much longer, the feelin’ here’s gettin’ stronger, come on and sing me a song:” Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band tackle the gentle, flowing “Sing Me a Song,” written by Nelson and released on 1971’s exceptional ‘Rudy the Fifth.’ Music Credit: Universal Music Group; Video Credit: YouTube user Musicallihearismusic

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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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