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Davis Journal

The Nelsons coming to Kenley Amphitheater June 15

May 16, 2024 11:59AM ● By Becky Ginos
Matthew and Gunnar Nelson will perform at the Kenley Amphitheater June 15. The twin sons of singer Ricky Nelson became popular in 1990. Photo credit Pucker Productions

Matthew and Gunnar Nelson will perform at the Kenley Amphitheater June 15. The twin sons of singer Ricky Nelson became popular in 1990. Photo credit Pucker Productions

LAYTON—Matthew and Gunnar Nelson come from a long line of notable actors and singers  but the twins have developed their own career as multi-platinum recording artists with hits such as “Love and Affection” and “After The Rain.” The pair will perform June 15 in “An Evening with The Nelsons,” a live concert at the Kenley Amphitheater.

The Nelsons became popular in 1990-1992 and graced the covers of People Magazine, Metal Edge, Teen Beat, 16 Magazine and more. 

“We were the Taylor Swift of that time,” said Matthew Nelson. “We couldn’t go out or we’d cause mall riots.”

The Nelsons are grandsons to TV icons Ozzie & Harriet and Rock & Roll legend Ricky Nelson. “Our dad sold a half billion records in his career,” said Matthew. “We’re recording to 10 million people who have no idea who Ozzie & Harriet are.”

On their mother’s side, Matthew and Gunnar are grandsons to Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon and actress Elyse Knox and their uncle is actor Mark Harmon.

“Growing up we didn’t know about our family (being famous),” Matthew said. We thought it was normal for people to ask grandpa for his autograph. Everyone is so down to earth they act like they’re nothing different. Mama Cass was our babysitter.”

Matthew said they didn’t realize his pop was special until later. “We realized he was special when he came to a school event and all of the teachers started putting their makeup on.”

The family was on vacation and Ricky Nelson was performing. “He played at a hotel and when the curtain went up someone was singing and everyone was applauding,” said Matthew. “I thought, ‘that looks like pop’ and realized it was him. That was imprinted on my heart that everybody (listening) was so happy.”

Music has always been his friend, Matthew said. “My brother and I played together at clubs that we were too young to get in. We played with some great people.”

When Matthew and Gunnar were 18, their father was killed in a tragic accident. “My pop died tragically and suddenly in a plane crash,” said Matthew. “We were supposed to go with him but he told us to stay behind. I feel him around whenever I take the stage.”

Matthew’s son Ozzie has already shown a talent for music. “I see my dad in him,” he said. “The kid never knew him but he’s in there. He’s 9 and had his first drum set at age 4. He plays the piano and he’s writing his own stuff. He’s a really talented kid.”

Dad was one of the nicest men, Matthew said. “He never thought he was a big deal. He was the most genuine and down to earth guy. There was a sweetness about him. He always used three rules. Be undeniably good at whatever that might be, never lose your sense of humanity and never be a jerk. I think you can get pretty far in this world with these.”

Matthew said the concert will feature some of their hits and fun heartfelt storytelling. “It will be the combination of all of it. Everyone will get something they like.”

This is not just a job, he said. “We’re blessed. What a journey with this gift of music. It’s always been our mission to bring the world joy.”

An Evening with The Nelsons concert is Saturday, June 15 from 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at the Kenley Amphitheater, 403 North Wasatch Drive, Layton. Visit for ticket information.