John L. Nelson

John L. Nelson
Birth name John Lewis Nelson
Born (1916-06-29)June 29, 1916
Louisiana, U.S.
Died August 25, 2001(2001-08-25) (aged 85)
Chanhassen, Minnesota, U.S.
Years active 1948—1966
Associated acts Prince, The Prince Rogers Trio

John Lewis Nelson (June 29, 1916 – August 25, 2001),[1] also known as Prince Rogers, was an American jazz musician. He was the father of musician Prince and a credited co-writer of some of his songs.

Life and career

Nelson was born in Louisiana, the son of Carrie (Jenkins) and Clarence Nelson. The Nelsons had four other children. He traveled to Minneapolis to become a musician in 1948. Playing the piano, he used "Prince Rogers" as a stage name and started a band called The Prince Rogers Trio with local musicians.

In 1956, he met Mattie Della Shaw (November 11, 1933 – February 15, 2002) at a show on the north side of Minneapolis. Shaw was an aspiring jazz musician who became the musical group’s singer. She had one son, Alfred Frank Alonzo Jackson (born July 6, 1953).[2] Nelson married Shaw on August 31, 1957,[3] and the couple had two more children, musician Prince[4] (1958–2016) (who was named after his father’s stage name) and daughter Tyka Nelson (born 1960). When Nelson’s career failed in late 1960, the couple became estranged and formally separated in 1965 and were divorced on September 24, 1968.[5]

Nelson died on August 25, 2001, aged 85, in his home in Chanhassen, Minnesota. That year Prince dedicated Joni Mitchell’s song "A Case of U", on his One Nite Alone... album, to his father.

Work with Prince

John L. Nelson wrote (or co-wrote) some music which was released by Prince in the 1980s.[6]

ASCAP credits, or co-credits, him with the following:


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