Courtesy photo Gunnar, left, and Matthew Nelson are performing a show in memory of their father, ’50s icon Ricky Nelson, at the Clovis Music Festival in September.
Freedom New Mexico
Twins Gunnar and Matthew Nelson will be trying out a different genre of music during their performance at the Clovis Music Festival in September.
Gunnar Nelson said he and his brother will be performing a rockabilly show called Ricky Nelson Remembered in memory of their father who died in an airplane crash 25 years ago.
Nelson said he and his brother have a different style of music than their father, who skyrocketed to fame on their grandparents’ popular ’50s television show, Ozzie and Harriet.
Nelson classified their music as arena rock. Nelson said one of the best parts of creating the show was going through their father’s body of work and picking which songs to play.
“These songs are all people’s favorites,” Nelson said. “Everything we’re going to play is a top 5 or above.”
The Nelson twins created a rock band called Nelson in the early 90s. Nelson said switching from rock to rockabilly can be interesting.
“Do I enjoy being schitzo? Well, yes and no. With our band Nelson, it’s all about artistic growth. With the Ricky Nelson Remembered show, it’s all about comfort and security. Just like the audience members, it makes me feel closer to my father with every song I play.
“It’s like they are different parts of my soul. Both sides are very valid and I want to keep them both going. I get to switch between them so it’s more like a groove than a rut,” Nelson said.
Gunnar and Matthew made history for the Nelson family in 1990, when their song, “Love and Affection” became Billboard’s top number one hit. It landed the Nelson family in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only family in history to have three successive generations of number one hits.
Gunnar Nelson said he spent half his life growing up in Susanville and the other half in Los Angeles, Calif.
“I’m kind of half city mouse and half country mouse. There’s nothing like small towns. I love it,” Nelson said, about his trip to Clovis. “I’ve heard of the Clovis Music Festival before. Music truly is a universal language. It’s awesome actually to look out at an audience and see them singing the lyrics back to me. In that way, music never dies.”
The Clovis Music Festival is Sept. 10-13 at the Curry County Special Events Center.
Other musical acts include The Originators of Rock & Roll featuring Johnny Rogers as Buddy Holly, Darell Croy as Jerry Lee Lewis, Pete Peterkin as Little Richard, Johnny Tillotson, Shirley Alston Reeves of The Shirelles, Dave Somerville of The Diamonds, The Fireballs, Tommy Allsup, Kevin Montgomery and more.