OK. Be honest. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see this woman?
Yeh. I know. Frank’s daughter.
What about the second thing?
That’s right. That big song that sold a ton of records.
Nancy Sinatra recently gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine where she trashed President Trump and heaped praise all over BLM.
But she also talked about…that song. When her first recordings were not doing too well the record label made a decision.
“You know what? We’re gonna put you with Lee Hazlewood,” said Sinatra. “He changed everything for me. He pretended to be this country shitkicker, know-nothing kind of guy, but he was highly educated. An Army veteran. A very worldly person who knew what he was doing. He used to do what he called the ‘dumb sound’ for my records. Dumb meaning uncomplicated. It consisted mainly of rhythm section, the drummer, the bass, three guitars all kind of chugging along. And it created a whole different thing for me.”
Hazelwood wrote “that song” and was all prepared to record it himself.
“That’s true,” said Sinatra. “I just told him the truth: that I didn’t think it was good for a man to sing it, that it sounded kind of ugly, and that a girl should sing it and it would be better. And he realized I was right.
“(My) look came from a trip I made to London. I went to Carnaby Street, which was the place to shop in those days. And there was a store called Mary Quant. She had, for me, the first miniskirts. I had never seen them before. They were nowhere to be found in the United States. And I just knew the miniskirt was going to catch on. I didn’t have minidresses, so I used long sweaters instead. The ‘Boots’ video with the black-wool sweater was my first attempt at a minidress.
“The How Does That Grab You? album cover has another long sweater. And they became kind of iconic. I guess that they were different and they were daring and were on the cutting edge of what was to become the miniskirt. It’s pretty cute, but it was an accident. I guess if I had any good instinct at all, it was about the fact that miniskirts would be a smash hit and would last forever. I mean, they’ve never gone away.”
Today, February 5th, Sinatra, now 80, released a collection of her old recordings, “Start Walkin’, 1965-1976.”