The Ricky Nelson Remembered Tour Featuring Matthew and Gunnar Nelson with The Stone Canyon Band
Three generations of talent later, twin grandsons of Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hillard, of the popular television series, Ozzie and Harriet, sons of the late pop legend Ricky Nelson, and brother of actress Tracy Nelson, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson have carried on the family tradition with their diverse approach to the sounds of yesterday and today.
With their long blond hair and wholesome good looks, Matthew and Gunnar cut a striking figure when they became MTV fixtures with the 1990 release of their triple-platinum debut album, After The Rain. But, despite their fresh-faced pinup appeal, it was their commercially savvy pop-metal tunes that turned the twin sons into third-generation stars.
Born 45 minutes apart in 1967, Matthew and Gunnar took up bass and drums, respectively, at the age of seven, spending a substantial chunk of their childhoods learning to play in a hayloft above the barn at their home in Studio City, California. The siblings were just 12 when they began to play the L.A. club scene as part of a punky power-pop trio, The Strange Agents.
The Nelson Brothers steered clear of Travilin' Man and Hello Mary Lou and other Ricky Nelson hits when they got into the business in the 80s. The twins did not want people to think they were riding on their famous father's coattails.
Matthew and Gunnar accomplished this goal with their Geffen Records pop-metal debut album After the Rain, which included a #1 single (I Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection, and three Top 10 singles. Other albums include Because They Can, Imaginator, The Silence is Broken, Brother Harmony, Life, and Like Father, Like Sons.
The twins switched gears several years ago when they accepted an invitation by Capitol Records to help promote a Ricky Nelson boxed CD set. They launched a tribute tour to mark the 20th anniversary of Ricky's 1985 death in a plane crash.
The Nelsons landed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only family to reach #1 record status in three successive generations, according to their biography.