Classic Rock‘s Today’s Memory
Nancy Sinatra’s birthday
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Nancy Sandra Sinatra (1940) is an American singer and actress. She is the daughter of singer/actor Frank Sinatra, and remains best known for her 1966 signature hit „These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”.
Other defining recordings include „Sugar Town”, the 1967 number one „Somethin’ Stupid” (a duet with her father), the title song from the James Bond film You Only Live Twice, several collaborations with Lee Hazlewood such as „Jackson”, and her cover of Cher’s „Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”, which features during the opening sequence of Quentin Tarantino’s (2003) hit movie Kill Bill.
Nancy Sinatra began her career as a singer and actress in the early 1960s, but initially achieved success only in Europe and Japan. In early 1966 she had a transatlantic number-one hit with „These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”, which showed her provocative but good-natured style, and which popularized and made her synonymous with go-go boots. The promo clip featured a big-haired Sinatra and six young women in tight tops, go-go boots and mini-skirts. The song was written by Lee Hazlewood, who wrote and produced most of her hits and sang with her on several duets, including the critical and cult favorite „Some Velvet Morning”. In 1966 and 1967, Sinatra charted with 13 titles, all of which featured Billy Strange as arranger and conductor.
Sinatra also had a brief acting career in the mid-60s including a co-starring role with Elvis Presley in the movie Speedway, and with Peter Fonda in The Wild Angels. In Marriage on the Rocks, Frank and Nancy Sinatra played a fictional father and daughter.
Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood – Jackson (1967)
„Jackson” is a song written in 1963 by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Leiber and first recorded by Wheeler. It is best known from two 1967 releases: a pop hit single by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood and a country hit single by Johnny Cash and June Carter, which has become more appreciated by non-country audiences in recent years as a result of Cash’s continued popularity and its use in the 2011 film The Help. The song is about a married couple who find (according to the lyrics) that the „fire” has gone out of their relationship. The song relates the desire of both partners to travel to Jackson where they each expect to be welcomed as someone far better suited to the city’s lively night life than the other is.
Actress Gaby Rodgers is cited as co-author of „Jackson”, because Leiber used his then-wife’s name as a pseudonym in writing the song with Wheeler. First recorded in 1963 by Wheeler, he explains the evolution of the song, and Leiber’s contribution:
‘Jackson’ came to me when I read the script for Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (I was too broke to see the play on Broadway)…When I played it for Jerry Leiber, he said ‘Your first verses suck,’ or words to that effect. ‘Throw them away and start the song with your last verse, „We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout.”‘ When I protested to Jerry that I couldn’t start the song with the climax, he said, ‘Oh, yes you can.’ So I rewrote the song and thanks to Jerry’s editing and help, it worked. I recorded the song on my first Kapp Records album, with Joan Sommer, an old friend from Berea, Kentucky, singing the woman’s part. Johnny Cash learned the song from that album, A New Bag of Songs, produced by Jerry and Mike.
There has been much speculation regarding which Jackson the song is about; but, according to Wheeler, „Actually, I didn’t have a specific Jackson in mind. I just liked the sharp consonant sound, as opposed to soft-sounding words like Nashville.”