Matthew & Gunnar Nelson
Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame
Matthew and Gunnar Nelson established themselves as music superstars in the 1990s when they charted million-selling hits performing as Nelson. Since then, the twin sons of 1950s teen idol Ricky Nelson have devoted much of their creative energy to honoring their father. The multi-media show titled Ricky Nelson Remembered includes music, memories, and tributes centered on one of the most influential performers of his time.
The brothers received a push to pursue their musical dreams from their father when they were only 18. Having just finished a performance, they recall Ricky Nelson telling them, “I not only love you as my sons, but I admire you as my peers.” It proved to be a defining moment in their career — a comment that launched another generation of stardom within the family. It’s a sentiment that gathered more meaning when, mere weeks later, Ricky Nelson perished in a plane crash.
The Nelson twins are the third generation of entertainers in the family. Their grandparents, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, were top-flight musicians and actors through the 1930s and 1940s before becoming household names across the nation starring in the television sitcom, “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” beginning in 1952. Matthew and Gunnar’s mother was also an actor, Kristin Harmon whose siblings Kelly Harmon and Mark Harmon are also well-known actors.
Matthew and Gunnar’s recent career has been devoted to Ricky Nelson Remembered. Matthew says it is an, “ongoing labor of love, an open letter to our dad, who was our best friend.” The show features comments from musical greats such as Paul McCartney and John Fogerty and serves as a vehicle to introduce new generations to their father.
Even as they honor their family’s roots, Matthew and Gunnar are blazing a trail of success in the entertainment industry that will assure a continuation of the Nelson legacy.