Back to back: Nancy Sinatra sings Lee Hazlewood songs

2. November, 2013
Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood on cover of Reprise LP “Nancy & Lee” (1968)

Beauty and mustache: Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood on cover of Reprise LP “Nancy & Lee” (1968)

He wrote “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’”, produced several of Nancy Sinatra’s records and was her duet partner. «Some Velvet Morning», «Summer Wine» and «Sand» became immortal gems of popular music. The pairing of Hazlewood’s and  Sinatra’s voices and the headstrong Hazlewood lyrics still intrigue listeners today.

But let’s turn the spotlight to some lesser known songs by Lee Hazlewood that were sung by Nancy Sinatra. On this playlists Nancy’s versions are played back to back with Lee’s. His most famous song “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” is also included.

After Nancy had a huge hit with this song, Lee recorded his own very funny version which comments about how he and arranger Billy Strange recorded Nancy’s Hit.

Lee was not only an adept songwriter, he was also a clever businessman. He sold his songs to as many artists as possible and also recorded them himself. In many cases he also produced the songs that he had written. Sometimes Lee recorded his version before Nancy’s, sometimes it was the other way around.

All songs on the playlist are arranged and co-produced by Billy Strange, who worked both with Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra. He’s responsible for the unique sound, an astonishing mixture of sophisticated pop music and easy listening. And on all songs Eddie Brackett was responsible for the sound engineering.

Lee used the same group of Los Angeles studio musicians for his own and Nancy’s version. That includes drummers like Jim Gordon and Hal Blaine, keyboard player Don Randi, electric bass player Carol Kaye, acoustic bass player Chuck Berghofer, Al Casey or Billy Strange on guitar and countless others.

These boots are made for walkin'
 1966: Lee Hazlewood. LP "The very special world of Lee Hazlewood" (MGM)
 1966: Nancy Sinatra. LP "Boots" (Reprise)
Shades
 1968: Lee Hazlewood. LP  "Something special" (MGM)
 1968: Nancy Sinatra. LP "Nancy in London" (Reprise)
So long, babe
 1966: Lee Hazlewood. LP "The very special world of Lee Hazlewood" (MGM)
 1966: Nancy Sinatra.  LP "Boots" (Reprise)
My Baby Cried All Night long
 1966: Lee Hazlewood. LP "The very special world of Lee Hazlewood" (MGM)
 1966: Nancy Sinatra. LP "How does that grab you?" (Reprise)
Not the loving kind
 1966: Lee Hazlewood. LP "The very special world of Lee Hazlewood" (MGM)
 1966: Nancy Sinatra. LP "How does that grab you?" (Reprise)
I Move Around
 1966: Lee Hazlewood. LP "The very special world of Lee Hazlewood" (MGM)
 1966: Nancy Sinatra.  LP "Boots" (Reprise)

Weihnachtssongs, die fast nicht nerven

24. December, 2012

Eels sind überzeugt: Weihnachten geht vor die Hunde. Clarence Carter singt vom Weihnachtsmann, der die kleinen Mädchen in den frühen Morgenstunden glücklich macht, während die Knaben draussen spielen.

Otis Reddings Version des Weihnachtsklassiker “White Christmas” ist unübertroffen: Zerrissen, verzweifelt und sehnsüchtig träumt er von einem weissen Fest. Poly Styrene zerschmettert, von einem Reggae- Rhythmus unterlegt, die weihnachtliche Idylle. Ella Fitzgerald hingegen lädt zur unbeschwerten Schlittenfahrt. Und Neil Diamond zitiert sein eigenes Repertoire.

Die Spotify-Liste ist eine eigenwillige, aber nicht zufällige Mischung aus Soullegenden, Rockgiganten, Jazz, Elvis und Indiebands.

Fröhliche Weihnachten. Oder wie die Ramones sagen würden: Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight).


Zuviel Strontium ist schlecht fürs Plattencover

1. September, 2012
Single-Cover, The Fidelios: Strontium 90

Als Strontium noch populär war: The Fidelios auf Elite Special (1964).
(Foto: Feathered Apple Records)

Ein erstaunliches Schweizer Beispiel für abgefahrene Covergrafik fand ich auf Feathered Apple Records. Diese Seite listet Singles des Schweizer Labels Elite Special auf, ein Unterlabel von Turicaphon.

Elite Special hatte in den 60er-Jahren anscheinend vor allem deutsche und amerikanische Produktionen in Lizenz veröffentlicht. Aber auch Schweizer Beat-Combos waren unter Vertrag. Gegründet wurde Turicaphon 1930 in Zürich. Später verlegte die Firma ihren Sitz nach Riedikon ZH und stellte bis 1992 Schallplatten her.

CDs gegen Angstzustände statt Beatmusik

Produziert wurden The Fidelios von Heinz Schiegl für seine Nürnberger Plattenfirma Abanori Records. Abanori Records und der dazugehörige Musikverlag Noriton sind heute noch tätig und vertreiben nicht nur CDs gegen Angst und Schmerzen, sondern verkaufen unter dem Namen Norimed «Colortron»-Lampen für Lichttherapien.

The Fidelios sollen später laut eines Forumeintrags unter dem Namen Fred Schultheiss und die Fidelios aufgetreten sein.


Black Songs Covered By The Rolling Stones

14. August, 2012

Black Artists Covered by Rolling Stones

This Spotify playlist presents some of the essential songs performed or written by black artists that were covered by the Rolling Stones.

The original songs are presented back to back with the Stone’s covers.

Needless to say that the Stones learned a lot from these songs and built a 50 year career on them.

If you want to dig deeper into songs covered by the Stones, I recommend Gerard Slinkert’s project Undercover. He presents 83 original songs and compares them with the Stone’s version. You can listen to both the originals and the covers.


Summer Love

21. July, 2012
Steve McQueen with his wife Neile Adams

Steve McQueen with his wife Neile Adams in Hollywood, June 1963
Photographer: John Dominis. (LIFE Magazine)


A Room Full Of Guitar Legends

28. April, 2012

Guitars

I stumbled upon a great article by Jas Obrecht about the history of guitar in the music studios of Los Angeles. In 1980 Obrecht had the unique opportunity to interview guitar legends such as George M. Smith, Al Hendrickson, Bob BainMitch Holder, Tim May and Tommy Tedesco.


Billy Strange: September 29, 1930 – February 22, 2012

27. February, 2012
Billy Strange, about two years old

Billy Strange, about two years old

I’m still very sad about the passing of the great musician Billy Strange. Not was he only a wonderful guitarist, producer and arranger, he was also a great friend. A unique man: thoughtful, funny, clever, heardheaded and supportive. He had the greatness to let others shine on stage and on records.

Over the years I’ve met Billy several times. And the more I learned about his life and career, the more in awe I was. That’s why I started writing about him on this blog. Later I interviewed Billy on video. Two parts of this video interview were published by Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger (English with German subtitles):

Das unbekannte Genie hinter Elvis und Sinatra: Teil 1
Das unbekannte Genie hinter Elvis und Sinatra: Teil 2

Here is my farewell to Billy (in German):

Der Forrest Gump der Musikgeschichte

And here are some articles from this blog about Billy Strange:

Billy Strange talks about Nancy Sinatra

Billy Strange’s Fuzz Guitar Spices Up Ann-Margret Ballad

The Billy Strange Story of Chubby Checker Hit Song ‘Limbo Rock’

The Birth of a Beach Boys Song

The Forgotten Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood CD

Billy Strange instrumentals on iTunes


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