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Travelin' Man


Rick Nelson

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Ozzie Nelson realized that whenever he had Ricky sing on their show The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet, Ricky's record sales shot up the next day. So Ozzie tried to work it into the plot whenever Ricky had a new record out. As Ricky became popular and the demand for his songs was overwhelming, Ozzie realized that working his singing into the plot was going to be impossible, so Ozzie filmed Ricky singing "Travelin' Man," superimposed some travelogue scenes over the film and tacked it onto a show episode at the end. Viola! The music video was born. (thanks, Terry - Willmar, MN)
Rick Nelson was born Eric Hilliard Nelson in 1940. He died in a small plane crash in Texas in 1985 while flying to a New Year's Eve concert. Mechanical problems and a cabin fire were suspected as the cause of the crash. Speculation that the fire was caused by someone on board freebasing cocaine was never proven, though aerosol cans were found at the crash site. The Nelson family said that the cans were part of the makeup box and that no drugs were involved. The matter was never completely resolved. (thanks, Garry - Anchorage, AK)
Rick Nelson
More Rick Nelson songs
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Comments (10):

A two-sided Top Ten record for Ricky; "Travelin' Man" stayed at #1 for two weeks while the flip-side "Hello Mary Lou" {penned by Gene Pitney} peaked at #9!!! {Billboard}
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
Nelson, to my knowledge, recorded two live performances of that tremendous hit. The song got better and better every time.
The most likely cause of the plane crash which took Rick's life was a defective cabin heater.
A very fine singer, a superb voice : maybe the best of his era with Dion DiMucci.
Pierre Cantin,Chelsea-upon-Gatineau
- Pierre, Chelsea, Quebec, Canada
So, this song is about Ricky Nelson traveling the world and exchanging hearts with thousands upon thousands of babes? He's lucky to have so many babes attracted to him. But what's he doing juggling so many women? Is he trying to become the next King Solomon? Or is he playing "leap frog" because so many relationships aren't working out? One of my closest friends is doing that. I won't name any names.
- andrew, birmingham, United States
To David from Witchita, It was his fiancee, not yet his wife that was with him.
- Sara, Greenville, AL
In the 80?s my brother and I had a computer store in Indianapolis, IN. Twice a year Chicago and Vegas hosted the Consumer Electric Show. We went to the summer CES in Chicago in ?85. One of our distributors had a 50?s show where they the ?Oldies? came in to entertain. The ?one and only ?Rick Nelson gave a show and half. He saw I was taking pictures of him as he sang. He actually ?posed? as he performed and looked in my camera so I could get the ?best? pic of him. Now I don?t know if other singers would take the time to allow a ?rookie? photographer take his pic and pose while he is singing >>>>BUT HE DID. That is why he is on the ?Top Shelf ?in my view. It is true the ?Good? die young. The good news is he will live on in video and song and in our ?hearts?. And who could want more than that?
- pat, indianapolis, IN
Nelson his band and his wife were in a DC-3 that crashed. Its not the size of a 747 but its not a small aircraft either. It is an airliner-1930's style.
- David, Wichita, KS
About Jerry Fuller: He was a prolific writer and producer. Besides 'Travelin' Man' he wrote "Young World" for Rick and also produced O.C. Smith and The Union Gap. For the Union Gap he also wrote: "Young Girl", "Lady Willpower" and
"Over You".
- Jonnie, St. Louis, MO
"Travelin' Man" was written by Jerry Fuller. There was a park close to where his wife worked,and everyday when he went to pick her up he'd take his guitar, sit in the park and write songs while he waited for her. He'd been thinking about writing a song about a man who traveled all over the world and one day took a World Atlas along with him to go over the countries in it.
The song was written in about 20 minutes. And, yes, it was first offered to Sam Cooke's manager but he turned it down. Rick's bass player, Joe Osborne, had been in the next room of the record company and heard it. He asked Cooke's manager if he could hear it again, and the man said: "Here, you can have it." It was one of Rick's biggest hits and stayed on the Charts for 4 months.
- Jonnie, St. Louis, MO
Contrast Ozzie's family of the 1950's with Ozzie's family of the 2000's (The Osbournes). Whoa!
- Garry, Anchorage, AK
In the UK, the song was the B-side to his biggest hit, Helloh Mary Lou. Travellin' Man had been offered to Sam Cooke but he turned it down - Ricky recognised a good song and snapped it up!
- Victor, Haworth, England
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