It was on this day in 1985 when Rick, his band members, and his fiance died in the crash of their plane in DeKalb Texas while en route to Dallas.

I had met Rick in July of 1984, in Newburyport, Massachusetts. I got to spend an afternoon and evening with him, and a few members of his band. As I've said on-air many times, Ricky Nelson was the nicest man I ever met in rock n roll.

Knowledge from the r&r college:

Ricks plane was previously owned by Jerry Lee Lewis. During a particular near fatal flight, Jerry Lee swore if the plane ever landed in one piece, he would immediately sell it. He did the sell the plane, and despite Jerry Lee's preachings to Ricky that "the plane is jinxed," Rick bought it anyway.