Sunday, November 13, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gene Nelson

Artist:Gene Nelson w/Gloria Grahame
Song:All Er Nuthin'
Album:Oklahoma! Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Gene Nelson was a dancer somewhat similar to Gene Kelly. But Nelson was never a star and in the 60s he worked behind the scenes. His role as Will Parker in Oklahoma was probably his most memorable role. He was born Leander Eugene Berg Mar. 24, 1920 in Astoria, OR and he grew up in Seattle and went to high school in Los Angeles. He attended the Fanchon and Marco dancing school. After graduating high school, he toured with figure skater Sonia Henie and appeared in a couple of her films. While in the US Signal Corps during WWII, Nelson appeared in Irving Berlin's all star extravaganza This Is The Army. He made his Broadway debut in the 149 show Lend An Ear. Then he signed with Warner Bros. and starred with Doris Day in the 1951 musical Lullaby On Broadway. I guess Warners didn't like him much and they dropped him in 1955. So Nelson turned to TV. Meanwhile he was cast as Will Parker in Oklahoma. All Er Nuthin' is one of Nelson's two big numbers. He returned to TV. But a horse riding accident forced Nelson to the sidelines and he became a director. He directed a few films like the Elvis Presley films Kissin' Cousins and Harum Scarum. But mostly he worked on TV. He returned to Broadway for the 1971 show Follies. Then he returned to TV. It looks like he retired in the 80s to teach at San Francisco State University. Gene Nelson died on Sept. 16, 1996 at age 76. Here's Gene Nelson with Gloria Grahame performing All Er Nuthin' from the 1956 film Oklahoma.

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