Two Original Albums: Rick Is 21 and Album Seven by Rick
Historically, Ricky Nelson was television's original teen idol, but he was not just another pretty face with a guitar. His talents made him a well-respected pioneer of classic rock 'n' roll and rockabilly on par with his idols Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins. While Elvis was considered by many adults to be vulgar and threatening, 17-year-old Ricky, as part of the all-American Nelson family, managed to sneak rock 'n' roll into millions of living rooms every week via his family's TV show, The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet.
As the titled announced, 1961's Rick Is 21 ushered in the more mature Rick Nelson. Rick's love for country music is heavily reflected in this collection and most importantly it contained the biggest record of his career, "Travelin' Man," which became his last #1 single. Coupled with "Hello Mary Lou," which itself went to #9, the double-sided hit has accounted for in excess of seven million in sales. Rick Is 21 was also the biggest selling album of his career, reaching #8 and staying on the charts for almost one full year.
Nelson's last album before moving on to Decca Records, fellow 1961 release Album Seven was even more country influenced than its predecessor. It more than anything points to the direction Rick was heading in when he formed his famed Stone Canyon Band in the late 60's.