Nelson had a total of 36 Top-40 hits ranging from 1957's "A Teenager's Romance" (#2) to 1972's "Garden Party
" (#6). That one could have a hit-song career spanning three decades, with the last hit scoring only four positions below the first hit, speaks volumes about what a formidable talent Rick Nelson was. If he hadn't had his life cut short in 1985, who knows what else he could have done?
By the way, Nelson's plane crash was not
part of the "day the music died" of "American Pie
" fame, which, after all, came out in 1971.