Album: Songs by Ricky

"Songs by Ricky" is the 2nd studio album by popular American vocalist and star Ricky Nelson. Released in 1959, the album showcases Nelson's apparent skill and flexible vocal variety, showing him to be more than simply an attractive face. The album includes a mix of rock-and-roll, rhythm and blues, and ballads, an ideal representation of the late '50s music scene. Produced by Lew Chudd, the founder of Imperial Records, the album includes 12 tracks, including noteworthy hits such as "I'm Not Afraid" and "Lonesome Town".

Background and Production
Following the success of his 1958 launching album, "Ricky", Nelson aspired to produce another album that showcased his development as a musician. The recording sessions for "Songs by Ricky" started in early 1959 at Radio Recorders, a popular studio in Hollywood, CA. The album's production was when again led by Lew Chudd, with an orchestral support carried out and set up by Johnny Grant. Additionally, Nelson was backed by his usual session musicians, including guitar player James Burton, bassist James Kirkland, and drummer Richie Frost.

Ricky's distinct, smooth voice was put to the test in this album, as he explored various music designs while maintaining his signature sound. The album consists of covers of popular artists, such as Fats Domino and Roy Orbison, together with initial tunes penned by Baker Knight, among Nelson's primary songwriters.

Album Content
"Songs by Ricky" opens with a cover of Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'", a memorable rock-and-roll tune that sets the tone for the album. Nelson's rendition of "Lonesome Town", a genuine ballad composed by Baker Knight, turned into one of the most iconic songs of his career, peaking at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Other album highlights include "I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)", a slow-tempo, romantic ballad, and "Old Enough to Love", a mid-tempo rocker penned by Johnny Burnette. The album likewise includes a cover of "Trying to Get to You", a rhythm and blues track initially tape-recorded by The Eagles, showcasing Nelson's adaptability as a vocalist.

Ricky's take on Roy Orbison's "Down the Line" is another standout track, communicating his ability to match the energy and enjoyment of the initial, with his dynamic vocal performance accompanied by a driving guitar riff. Finally, the album concludes with the positive and heartwarming "One of These Mornings", leaving a long lasting impression on listeners.

Reception and Legacy
Upon its release, "Songs by Ricky" got positive reviews for Nelson's engaging efficiencies and flexible song selection. The album peaked at number 10 on the Billboard album chart, solidifying Nelson's position as one of the leading teenager idols and popular music stars of the late 1950s.

In retrospection, "Songs by Ricky" remains a substantial album in Ricky Nelson's discography, showcasing his growth as an artist and his dedication to exploring various musical designs. The album's essential tracks, particularly "Lonesome Town", stay some of Nelson's many remarkable and beloved tunes. Additionally, the album's influence on subsequent artists appears, as many artists, consisting of The Beatles and Chris Isaak, have actually mentioned Ricky Nelson as a considerable motivation in their own work.

In conclusion, "Songs by Ricky" is a stellar representation of the late '50s music scene, encapsulating the unique talent and charisma of Ricky Nelson. The album continues to resonate with fans of rock-and-roll, rhythm and blues, and ballads, maintaining its place as a traditional piece of American music history.

Artist: Ricky Nelson

Ricky Nelson, a pop & country icon, actor, and musician. Born into a showbiz family, his talent shone in music, TV, and films. Read his inspiring quotes here!
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Other Albums by Ricky Nelson