51) Ricky Nelson – “Travelin’ Man”

Ricky Nelson gets more chicks than you.  All ethnicities, even (except Africans).  He collects them as if they were so many stamps  – a 1 centavo from Mexico, a 5 pfennig from Deutschland, licked once before being pasted in a philatelist’s notebook and left on the shelf.  It’s abhorrent behavior, traveling around the world for the express purpose of making girls fall in love with you before shipping off to the next port.  Ricky offers no apologies either – just a simple shrug, “I’m a travelin’ man,” my only love is the open road and my only lady is the sea.  But somehow, Ricky has a way of making you feel sorry for him.  The way he sings it, it’s not a boast but a lament.  He’s condemned to spend his days dragged from one port to the next by his incessant wanderlust, the vast stretches of loneliness broken only by the rare comfort of another human being (who may or may not speak English, but who is at least pretty).  Just as Ricky came out the victim of “Poor Little Fool,” despite his caddish ways,  here too he spins the situation in his favor and demonstrates just how he charmed all those girls before breaking their hearts.  It’s the singer not the song pulling the weight, but unfortunately even Ricky’s charisma can’t elevate it above mediocrity. 5

Hit #1 on May 29, 1961 for 1 week; repeaked on June 12, 1961 for 1 week; total of 2 weeks at #1
51 of 969 #1’s reviewed; 5.26% through the Hot 100


1 Comment

Filed under 05, 1961

One response to “51) Ricky Nelson – “Travelin’ Man”

  1. GeorgeL

    This is a pretty nice little song. I sang this at Karaoke one time. Pretty easy song to sing.

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