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‘Movin’ with Nancy’: Go-go boots, miniskirts, eyeliner and Nancy Sinatra

Although it certainly can’t hurt when your father owns the record company, Nancy Sinatra wouldn’t have sold millions of records in the 1960s if she wasn’t putting out great pop music. In fact, had Sinatra not met songwriter/producer Lee Hazlewood, she might’ve been dropped, even by Reprise. Nepotism only goes so far (just ask her brother) and Sinatra’s early attempts at the pop charts went nowhere. Hazlewood had her sing in a lower key and tailored her material for a straight-talkin’ sassy “hip” image that was closely associated with go-go boots, eyeliner and miniskirts. Together they had a long string of chart-topping hit records, most sung by Nancy, but still some were duets they recorded together.

1967’s NBC TV special Movin’ With Nancy was produced at the height of Sinatra’s career and featured guest appearances from her father, his pals Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., as well as an onscreen appearance by Hazlewood. Written by Tom Mankiewicz (who’d go on to the James Bond films and the Superman franchise of the 70s) and directed by Jack Haley Jr. (son of the “Tin Man” actor, one-time husband to Liza Minnelli and future producer of That’s Entertainment!), as far as variety specials went, Movin’ With Nancy was considered quite “different” for its time. For one thing, it’s not shot in a studio, but mostly outdoors, on various locations like a travelogue. The set pieces simply drift from one to the next and each is like a music video. Haley won an Emmy for his directing.

The show was sponsored in its entirety by the Royal Crown Cola company (“It’s the mad, mad, mad, mad cola!” as you will be reminded over and over and over again) and their commercials are in the video below, so we get to see Movin’ With Nancy exactly the way it aired on December 11, 1967. Of special note is the premiere of that classic oddball psych number “Some Velvet Morning,” which made about as much sense then as it does today. If that doesn’t send a special thrill up your leg, I don’t know what would. Also, at the very end of her bit with Sammy? That innocent peck on the cheek was apparently the very first (non-scripted) interracial kiss on network television. This proved to be controversial, but was done spontaneously as Davis was actually saying goodbye to Sinatra in that shot and leaving the set for another job. There wasn’t a second take.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Keep the faith’: Letter from Frank Sinatra to his daughter, Nancy (1969)
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Frank Sinatra
Nancy Sinatra

A letter from Frank Sinatra to his daughter Nancy—which she kept framed in her house—penned around 1969.

According to an article in the Toledo Blade dated April 19, 1969 “keeping the faith” for Nancy included “a refusal to take alimony from her husband, because she considered it ‘unfair’ when she is perfectly capable of working.”

from the desk of

Chicken — a thought.

Strange, but I feel the world we live in demands that we be turned out in a pattern which resembles, in fact, is a facsimile of itself. And those of us who roll with the punches, who grin, who dare to wear foolish clown faces, who defy the system — well, we do it, and bully for us!

Of course, there are those who do not. And the reason I think is that, (and I say this with some sadness) those up-tight, locked in people who resent and despise us, who fear us, and are bewildered by us, will one day come to realize that we possess rare and magical secrets, and more — love.

Therefore, I am beginning to think that a few, (I hope many) are wondering if maybe there might be value to a firefly, or an instant-long roman candle.

Keep the faith


Below, a father and daughter duet:

Via Letters of Note

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Fascinating 1973 documentary: Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood in Las Vegas
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Pop Culture

Nancy Sinatra
Lee Hazlewood

The 1973 film Nancy & Lee in Las Vegas takes an almost cinéma vérité approach to its subject as it documents the less-than-glamorous grind of playing to casino audiences in Sin City.

It’s showtime and Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood do their damnedest to entertain a distracted Vegas audience, most of whom have likely lost or are about to lose next month’s rent. Despite delivering some fine performances, with terrific backing from the Wrecking Crew (Hal Blaine, Billy Strange and Don Randi), Nancy and Lee just can’t get a rise out of the crowd at the once grand Riviera Hotel and Casino. The vibe is flatter than a glass of day-old champagne.

Having lived in Vegas for a couple of years, I’ve seen shows where two-thirds of the audience are clearly just cooling their heels between long bouts at the slot machines or they’ve gambled away all their cash and are doing their best to get through the night without slitting their wrists - the very definition of a “tough crowd.”
Scenes of Sinatra and her mother venting back stage are remarkably candid and unvarnished, giving us a glimpse into celebrity-hood’s bleaker dimensions. And the vintage footage of the Strip is way cool.

Songs performed include “Did You Ever,” “Arkansas Coal,” “Friendship Train,” “Summer Wine,” “Jackson” and “She’s Funny That Way.”

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Baby face Nick Cave sings ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’’ (1978)

A fresh-looking, immaculately dressed 21-year-old Nick Cave covers the Nancy Sinatra classic along with Mick Harvey, Phil Calvert and Tracy Pew as The Boys Next Door, the original name of The Birthday Party, in 1978 (Rowland S. Howard would join them soon afterwards).

I’m a massive Nick Cave fan, but I’ve never seen this clip before. It’s pretty amazing to witness how fully formed his rockstar persona was then, even at this tender age.

Love the mascara. Adam Lambert eat your heart out…

Video directed by Chris Löfvé:


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘The Importance of Being Morrissey’

From 2003, The Importance of Being Morrissey is the most revealing and quotable documentary made on Steven Patrick Morrissey. 

In it he compares meat eating to child abuse; attacks the Royal Family and Tony Blair; responds to the accusations of racism; and we hear about his depression. There’s also some great concert footage, and a mixed selection of celebrity fans who explain their fervor for the Mozz: J K Rowling identifies with Morrissey in a darkened room, though still won’t give up bacon; former neighbor, playwright Alan Bennett couldn’t say his name, but thinks he has an interesting face with a story to tell; Will Self likes his muscular intellect; Noel Gallagher thinks he is the greatest ever lyricist; Chrissie Hynde thinks people who don’t get him can go fuck themselves; Bono thinks he’s funny; and Nancy Sinatra says he’s a great hugger.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Joy Division vs Nancy Sinatra: ‘Bang She Lost Control’
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Joy Division
Nancy Sinatra

Oki has put together a collection of Joy Division mashups with female singers like Cher, Katy Perry and Beyonce called Divas Of Joy Division which you can download for free here.

I’m a massive Joy Division fan so I approached Oki’s concept with trepidation, but was surprised to find that some of the tracks have an eerily appealing vibe.

This particular cut which combines “She’s Lost Control” with Nancy Sinatra singing “Bang, Bang” took a couple of listens before it got its hooks in me. But it did.

Sinatra’s flanged vocal not sitting right in the pocket (which is wobbly as it is) creates the unsettling atmosphere of a dark drug experience which seems perfect for songs about madness and homicide.

I mashed up the mashup with some video so you’d have something to look at.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Hard-boiled Frank Sinatra: Tony Rome will get ‘em if they don’t watch out

“Tony Rome” was Frank Sinatra’s hard-boiled detective alter-ego in two films, 1967’s Tony Rome and its 1968 sequel, The Lady in Cement. Bucking the trend of Bond and the sub-Bonds like Our Man Flint (with James Coburn) and the “Matt Helm” series starring his Rat Pack buddy, Dean Martin, the “Tony Rome” movies were much more noirish in their approach, although, natch, this being Ol’ Blue Eyes, there were silly, sexist and “in joke” elements aplenty in the films.

Sinatra was directed in both films by Gordon Douglas (who directed him in Robin and the 7 Hoods) and surrounded by A-list cast members Raquel Welch, Bonanza’s Dan Blocker, Jill St. John, Gena Rowlands and sexy Sue Lyon (who played the title role in Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita).

I have always particularly liked the jaunty theme song to Tony Rome, written and produced by Lee Hazelwood and sung by Nancy Sinatra, you can hear it here.

Hugo Montenegro provided the groovy soundtrack to Lady in Cement, here’s the trailer:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Elvis & Nancy Sinatra team up in ‘Speedway’
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Elvis Presley
Nancy Sinatra

Speedway is a typical lightweight Elvis romp from the ‘60s co-starring Nancy Sinatra who plays a sexy IRS agent who comes to audit racecar driver Elvis, whose business manager (Bill Bixby) is an idiot addicted to gambling. She succumbs to the King’s charms, natch. There are songs and a plucky homeless family living in their car. That’s the plot in a nutshell.

Carl Ballantine from McHale’s Navy and Gale Gordon, best known as Mr. Mooney from The Lucy Show are also part of the cast. One production number, for a song called He’s Your Uncle, Not Your Dad, takes place in an IRS office! It’s perfectly dreadful, if entertaining, drivel, but it does have two great numbers in it. Elvis does a rocker called Let Yourself Go that was released as a single, but flopped, which is a shame, because it’s one of my top favorite Elvis tracks. And Nancy Sinatra performs a swingin’ little number called Your Groovy Self, complete with minimalist mod choreography, It’s one of her best songs, certainly one of her best performances on film and the sole track by anyone other than Elvis to appear on the soundtrack album to one of his movies.

Two fun facts: First, Speedway was originally written for Sonny and Cher! Second, take a look at the nightclub: Quentin Tarrentino’s set design for Jack Rabbit Slim’s in Pulp Fiction was inspired by the decor of the Hangout, where Speedway’s in-crowd mix in a racecar booth ‘60s disco splendor.

The plot device that gets Nancy to sing is when Carl Ballantine, the maitre’d of the Hangout shines a spotlight on her, and for some arbitrary Elvis-movie logic, she has to “get up and do something.” This is what she does:

See Elvis’s big number after the jump

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Coil / Nancy Sinatra / Frankie Goes to Hollywood: The Power of Bang-Bang


OK, this is just utterly wrong. Utterly wrong, yet… somehow… strangely… compelling... It’s a 12 minute?

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment