You’re very kind. I so appreciate you saying that. Oftentimes I think I was simply born too late. Many of the artists whom I admire are no longer among the living. I bet Rick would have made an amazing interview once I proved to him that I was on the level. Again, your encouragement makes my evening shine way brighter.
Rick Nelson covers Buddy Holly with admirable results on “True Love Ways”, recorded on November 8, 1978, with producer Larry Rogers in Memphis
Rick Nelson returns to his rockabilly roots on My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It, captured onstage in February 1983 at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan, IL, (near Chicago), featuring the Jordanaires and The Blasters’ Gene Taylor on piano; the complete concert was released on a hard-to-find VHS in the late ’80s
Definitely recommended…my December book selection
Today journalist Sheree Homer graciously agreed to a wide-ranging interview about a subject very close to her heart – singer Rick Nelson. In a bit of coincidence that Nelson would certainly have appreciated, Rick Nelson: Rock ‘N’ Roll Pioneer was published by McFarland on the 35th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s passing on August 16, 2012.
Based on 16 customer reviews thus far on Amazon, Rock ‘N’ Roll Pioneer has a rare 5-star rating. It is the first book in 20 years to critically examine Nelson’s entertaining life, esteemed career, and crucial impact on pop culture. The well-received but sadly out-of-print Teenage Idol, Travelin’ Man , written by Philip Bashe, was the last project spotlighting the “Garden Party” songwriter.
Homer describes the book as a “biography told by Rick’s musicians, producers, friends, and family members. I don’t talk after the introduction but instead let others tell his story. After all, they were there with him. The original title was Rick Nelson: Musical Memories of a Hollywood Heartthrob, but McFarland felt Rick Nelson: Rock ‘N’ Roll Pioneer was a better choice.”
Indeed, over 50 exclusive interviews with nearly all the major players still living who worked with or counted the artist as a good friend is one of the project’s selling points. A major coup for the author was securing Kristin Nelson’s involvement. The former wife and mother of the singer’s four children has kept a low profile and generally refuses to speak about her life with the troubadour.
A generous sampling of black and white photos [about 50] are sprinkled throughout the 149 pages of text. Many are unpublished and come from Ms. Nelson’s personal archive or longtime collectors.
An additional 50 pages are devoted to several appendices, including single and album discographies as well as film, television and radio appearances for the “Poor Little Fool” balladeer. Scrupulous notes are provided for each chapter, along with a complete bibliography and index.
While noted for her admiration of Nelson’s blazing early rockabilly sides enhanced by James Burton’s Telecaster, [in fact she published her own music magazine, Rockabilly Revue, for several years], Homer perfectly captures each facet of the artist’s impressive career, including his calculated move into early ’60s pop and seminal country rock recordings with the Stone Canyon Band.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Rock ‘N’ Roll Pioneer is meticulously researched but presented in an easy-going, conversational style. Once you start reading, you can’t put it down. It is highly recommended.
Rick Nelson: The single cover of There’s Nothing I Can Say b/w Lonely Corner, a No. 47 Pop, No. 18 Adult Contemporary hit, released on August 17, 1964; Courtesy of Decca Records / Universal Music Group
Rick Nelson: The August 8, 1960 single cover of I’m Not Afraid b/w Yes Sir, That’s My Baby; Split airplay caused the single to stall at No. 27 Pop for the former and No. 34 Pop for the latter; released on August 8, 1960 Credit: Courtesy of Imperial Records / EMI
An interview with Nelson’s biographer, Sheree Homer, was published on Nov. 30, 2012. It is entitled “Rick Nelson: Rock ‘N’ Roll Pioneer: In Step With Biographer Sheree Homer”
Rick Nelson at the very beginning of his career, circa spring 1957, during the I’m Walkin / A Teenagers Romance era; he was about 17 years old here Credit: Courtesy of Kristin Nelson’s Personal Collection
Charles Bronson menaces an unsuspecting Michael Landon in his only guest appearance on Bonanza, the most popular series of the 1960s;
Charles Bronson makes his only guest appearance on Bonanza, the most popular series of the 1960s, in The Underdog, an episode broadcast on December 13, 1964, costarring Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Lorne Greene; it would take five more years before Bronson became a star in Europe
A face like an eroded cliff: Beyond the tough exterior of actor Charles Bronson (new article featuring stories from James Garner, Tony Curtis, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Elvis’ Memphis Mafia, and much more)
Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen and James Coburn, circa June 1962, on the Bavaria, Germany, set of The Great Escape; The trio had previously appeared in The Magnificent Seven (1960), also directed by John Sturges; both films were very crucial to their respective careers: Courtesy of the Mike Siegel Collection / Steve McQueen: The Actor and His Films
Published on Nov. 18, 2012 — A Face Like An Eroded Cliff: Beyond The Tough Exterior of Actor Charles Bronson
Among Bronson’s many well-known costars in the ’60s, one who certainly stands out is Elvis Presley. Bronson portrayed Presley’s boxing trainer in Kid Galahad , one of Presley’s better acting vehicles.
The Memphis Mafia was by Presley’s side throughout the shoot, and longtime member and bodyguard Sonny West spoke about Bronson and Presley’s relationship in his 2007 memoir, Elvis: Still Taking Care of Business.
“Elvis got his nose a little bent out of shape by Bronson,” West revealed. “As he did on all of his pictures, between takes Elvis often demonstrated his karate moves for the cast and crew. While the others at least acted impressed, Bronson never joined in the applause. That rankled Elvis big-time.
“‘That muscle-bound sonofab**ch wouldn’t know something good if it hit him right in the face’”, Elvis angrily remarked to his buddies. Yet West considered Bronson to be a true professional who never bad-mouthed Elvis. “Both of them were able to give the impression that the two had a tremendous chemistry on screen,” West concluded.
TO BE CONTINUED
June 1, 1970: #CharlesBronson is photographed in Nice, France, possibly on location for the thriller, Cold Sweat; he was a very handsome 48 years old Credit: Photography by Leonard de Raemy
A Face Like An Eroded Cliff: Beyond The Tough Exterior Of Actor Charles Bronson
In an interview with author Marshall Terrill for Steve McQueen: Portrait of an American Rebel, Janes called the trio “the three devils.” They were always having fun, looking for the next big prank. One memorable incident that nearly cost the stuntman’s life occurred while he was trying to sleep one night in his trailer.
After falling asleep for several hours, Janes awoke to the sound of giggling. Turns out, the actors had rigged a dangerous amount of firecrackers and cherry bombs together and were planning on opening Janes’ door and throwing them inside.
Sensing that he might be in some serious trouble, Janes quietly slipped out through a small panel door in the rear. No sooner had he gotten outside that he heard a tremendous boom. His ceiling was torn off, his mattress had gaping holes in it, the trailer caught on fire, and it sounded like World War III had broken out with the loud, machine gun-like noise constantly sounding off.
Their laughter suddenly turned into terror as they realized the stuntmen was inside somewhere. Janes snuck up behind them and watched the awesome sight of Sinatra, McQueen and Bronson scrambling around, shouting his name, and searching in vain. The stuntman finally burst into guffaws, which caused the trio to start chasing him around the set. They all eventually apologized to Janes, and he continued to double McQueen and Bronson for years to come…. TO BE CONTINUED