The year was 1959, and the song ‘It’s Late’ by Ricky Nelson was climbing the charts. It was a massive hit at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart, 6 on the US Cash Box Top 100, and 9 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by Dorsey Burnette, who recorded it on August 28, 1958. It was released on a compilation album by Imperial Records in 1980, but it was better known for Ricky Nelson’s rendition.
As I watched the video of his performance, I was reminded of the early days of television when families gathered around the TV to watch The Nelsons. The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet show was one of the most popular shows of its time, and Ricky Nelson’s performances were always the show’s highlight. His good looks, charm, and natural talent were evident in every performance, and it was no surprise that he had 53 singles in the US hit parade between 1957 and 1973, with 19 of them making it to the top 10.
In January 1987, two years after his tragic death in a plane crash, Ricky Nelson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a testament to his enduring legacy. His music reflected the times, and he captured the spirit of America in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Watching his performance of ‘It’s Late’, I was struck by how easy it was to listen to him. His voice was smooth, his delivery was effortless, and his talent oozed from every note.
As I read through the comments on the video, I was struck by how many people shared my love for Ricky Nelson’s music. One commenter talked about how he was the first artist to top the Billboard Hot 100, with 53 of his singles making it onto the US hit parade. Another commenter reminisced about how his family gathered around the TV to watch The Nelsons and how those were the best days America had ever seen.
Despite the passage of time, Ricky Nelson’s music remains as relevant today as it was in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His songs capture the innocence and optimism of a bygone era and remind them of a time when life seemed simpler and people were more connected. As I watched his performance, I could feel the audience’s positive reactions, the sound of applause filling the air, and the excitement of watching a great performer do what they do best.
I encourage you to watch this video and share it with your friends because it’s a reminder of a time when music was more straightforward, and life was more carefree. It’s a tribute to one of America’s greatest performers, a man who captured the spirit of his time and left an indelible mark on the world of music. Ricky Nelson may be gone, but his music lives on and will continue to inspire and delight generations to come.