These Boots Are Made for Walkin'
“It's a hectic, crazy life. You're not like a shoe salesman who can get rid of his wares. You're stuck with a product… yourself.” Nancy Sinatra (about show business)
Starting her career as a singer and actress in the early 1960s, Nancy Sinatra, the daughter of legendary Frank Sinatra, achieved success in Japan, Australia, Germany and Italy before eventually becoming a star in the U.S. in 1965 thank to the popular hit single “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'.” The first in a series of collaborations with songwriter, producer and arranger Lee Hazlewood, the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the U.K. Singles Chart. It also brought her two Grammy nominations. Nancy scored her next No. 1 hit single with “Somethin' Stupid” (1967), a duet she sang with her father. She shared a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year for the song. Nancy's hit singles released during the mid-1960s to the early 1970s also included “How Does That Grab You, Darlin',” “Sugar Town,” the theme song of the James Bond movie “You Only Live Twice,” “Lightning's Girl,” “Here We Go Again” and “How Are Things In California.” She also recorded popular duets with Hazlewood, including “Jackson,” “Lady Bird,” “Some Velvet Morning,” “Did You Ever” and “Down From Dover.” During the 1960s, Nancy appeared as an actress in the movie “For Those Who Think Young” (1964), “Marriage on the Rocks” (1965), “The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini” (1966), “The Last of the Secret Agents” (1966) and “Speedway” (1968, with Elvis Presley). She also appeared in the TV shows “The Virginian,” “Burke's Law,” “Off to See the Wizard” and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” However, by the mid 1970s, she decided to slow down her acting and music career to concentrate on her family. Nancy returned to the recording studio in the early 1980s, but remained outside the spotlight until she posed nude for “Playboy” in 1995. In 2004, she was put back on the U.K. chart with the single “Let Me Kiss You” (#46). The following year, she enjoyed a No.3 U.K. hit single with “Shot You Down,” a song released by the Audio Bullys that featured Nancy from the 1960s song “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).” In show business for over four decades, Nancy was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 11, 2006.
As for her personal life, Nancy has been married twice. She was married to actor/singer Tommy Sands from 1960 to 1965. She was married to choreographer Hugh Lambert from 1970 until his death in 1985. The couple had two daughters together.
Icon of Cool
Childhood and Family:
Nancy Sandra Sinatra was born on June 8, 1940, in Jersey City, New Jersey, to renowned singer/actor Frank Sinatra (born on December 12, 1915, died on May 14, 1998) and Nancy Barbato. She moved to Los Angeles with her family at a young age. Her parents married on February 4, 1939, and later divorced on October 29, 1951, when Nancy was 11 years old. Her father went on to marry three more times. Nancy has two younger siblings, Frank Sinatra Jr. (born in 1943) and Christine Sinatra (born in 1948). In the late 1950s, she attended the University of California in Los Angeles, where she studied music, voice and dance, but quit after a year to professionally pursue a performing career.
On September 11, 1960, Nancy, whose nickname is The Icon of Cool, married singer and actor Tommy Sands (born on August 27, 1937), but they divorced in 1965. She married Hugh Lambert, a choreographer, on December 12, 1970. They remained married until Lambert's death on August 18, 1985. The marriage produced two daughters, Angela and Amanda Lambert.
The daughter of show business royalty, Nancy Sinatra made her television debut on her father's variety show, “The Frank Sinatra Show,” in 1957. After dropping out of college, she got her first professional job on “Frank Sinatra's Welcome Home Party for Elvis Presley” (1960), a television special hosted by her father. On the show, she and her father danced and sang a duet titled “You Make Me Feel So Young/Old.”
In 1961, Nancy signed with her father's label, Reprise Records, and launched her first single, “Cuff Links and a Tie Clip.” She went on to have a string of uncharted singles in the U.S., including the songs “June, July and August” (1961), “I See the Moon” (1962), “The Cruel War” (1963), “Where Do the Lonely Go” (1964) and “True Love” (1965), before having her first charted single, “So Long, Babe,” in 1965. The song rose to No. 86 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and also made the Top 40 in Canada.
In 1963, Nance appeared in an episode of the western series “The Virginian” called “If You Have Tears.” After landing a guest spot in the series “Burke's Law” (also 1963), she broke into the big screen with the supporting role of Karen Cross on the 1964 beach party movie “For Those Who Think Young,” which starred James Darren, Pamela Tiffin, Paul Lynde, Tina Louise, Bob Denver and Robert Middleton and was directed by Leslie H. Martinson. She next costarred with Mary Ann Mobley and Joan O'Brien in the comedy “Get Yourself a College Girl” (1964) and acted with her father in the Jack Donohue directed comedy “Marriage on the Rocks” (1965).
Nancy experienced a significant music career boost in 1966 with the popular single “These Boots Are Made for Walkin',” which marked her first collaboration with songwriter, producer and arranger Lee Hazlewood. The song rose to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the U.K. Singles Chart. It also went to No. 1 in Australia and Canada and No. 2 in Norway. The song sold over one million pieces and Nancy picked up two Grammy nominations for the song.
Following “These Boots Are Made for Walkin',” Nancy scored more hit singles with “How Does That Grab You, Darlin',” “Friday's Child,” “In Our Time” and the Lee Hazlewood written song “Sugar Town” (#5), which became her second million dollar seller. The latter song rose to No. 1 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart, No. 5 in Canada and No. 8 in the U.K. ”Summer Wine,” a duet sung with Hazlewood, went to No. 49 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Nancy's debut album, “Boots,” was released in 1966 with Lee Hazlewood serving as the producer and Billy Strange as the arranger and conductor. In addition to the No. 1 hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” and the song “So Long, Babe,” the album contained her covers of The Rolling Stone's “As Tears Go By,” The Beatles' “Day Tripper” and “Run for Your Life,” Bob Dylan's “It Ain't Me Babe,” The Beach Boys' “In My Room” and The Statler Brothers' “Flowers on the Wall,” among other tracks. Her second album, “How Does That Grab You,” followed in 1966 with Hazlewood as the producer. She also released the albums “Sugar” and “Nancy in London” in 1966. On the acting front, Nancy landed roles in the motion pictures “The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini” (directed by Don Weis), “The Last of the Secret Agents” (with Marty Allen) and “The Wild Angels” (with Peter Fonda). She then portrayed Coco Cool in an episode of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” called “The Take Me to Your Leader Affair” (all 1966).
Following “Love Eyes” (1967), a Top 20 hit single on the Billboard Hot 100, Nancy and her father sang the ballad “Somethin' Stupid” (1967), which was recorded for Frank's album “The World We Knew” (1967). The song was a huge success and topped the Billboard Hot 100. “Somethin' Stupid” was nominated for a Grammy for Record of the Year and gave Nancy her third gold single.
Nancy gained further recognition with the duet “Jackson” (1967), which she sang with Hazlewood. A cover of Jerry Leiber and Billy Edd Wheeler's 1963 country single “Jackson,” it rose to No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No, 11 on the U.K. Singles chart. 1967 also saw Nancy sing the title song “You Only Live Twice” for the 1967 James Bond film of the same name, which starred Sean Connery as 007. The song went to No. 44 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 3 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary and No. 11 on the U.K. Singles chart. She also sang the theme song “Tony Rome” for her father's spy film “Tony Rome” (1967) and had two additional Billboard Hot 100 singles with “Lightning's Girl” (#24) and “Lady Bird” (with Hazlewood, #20).
In 1968, Nancy recorded the song “Your Groovy Self,” which was produced by Hazlewood, for the soundtrack of the musical film “Speedway” (1968), in which she starred as Elvis Presley's love interest. The film marked her last major film performance to date. The same year, she released “Movin' With Nancy,” the soundtrack to her 1967's TV special of the same name, and was nominated for a 1968 Golden Globe in the category of Best TV Star - Female for her performance. Arranged and conducted by Billy Strange, the album included the hit single “Some Velvet Morning,” a song composed by and performed with Hazlewood. The song peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100. The same year, Nancy sang a duet with Dean Martin on the song “Things.” She also released the singles “100 Years” (#69 US), “Happy” (#74 US), “Good Time Girl” (#65) and “God Knows I Love You” (#97). “The Sinatra Family Wish You a Merry Christmas,” a Christmas album by the Sinatra family, was released in 1968. Nancy contributed her vocals to six tracks of the album, including “Whatever Happened to Christmas” and “I Wouldn't Trade Christmas.”
Nancy launched several singles in 1969, but scored little success with the songs “Here We Go Again” and “Drummer Man” (both #98 on the Billboard Hot 100). The U.K. released single “Highway Song” charted at No. 21 there. The following year, she had two Billboard Adult Contemporary hit singles with the songs “How Are Things In California” (#17) and “Feelin' Kinda Sunday” (with Frank Sinatra, #30). Her last single released in 1970 was “Hook and Ladder.” The 1970 album “Nancy's Greatest Hits (With a Little Help from Her Friends)” became her last album with Reprise before she signed to RCA Records in 1971.
Nancy released “Nancy and Lee-Again,” her debut album with RCA, in 1971. The same year, she released the duet “Did You Ever” with Hazlewood, which went to No. 2 in the U.K. and No. 20 in Australia. “Woman” (1972), her second album with RCA, followed in 1972. The same year, “Down From Dove,” a duet sung with Hazlewood, rose to No. 120 in the U.S. and No. 80 in Canada. The duo also performed for a Swedish documentary called “Nancy & Lee In Las Vegas.” Nancy's third and last album with RCA, “This Is Nancy Sinatra,” was released in 1973.
After leaving RCA, Nancy signed a record deal with Private Stock, with which she recorded several singles, including “Annabell of Mobile” (1975), “Kinky Love” (1976), “Indian Summer” (with Hazlewood, 1976) and “A Gentle Man Like You” (1977). Due to its suggestive lyrics, “Kinky Love” was banished by some radio stations in the 1970s. She stopped recording in the late 1970s to focus on her family and did not make a return to music until 1980 with the release of the single “Let's Keep It That Way,” her debut with Elektra Records. The country album “Mel & Nancy,” a collaboration with Mel Tillis, followed in 1981. The album yielded two country hit singles with the songs “Texas Cowboy Night” (#23) and “Play Me or Trade Me” (#43). In 1985, Nancy wrote a book titled “Frank Sinatra, My Father.”
By 1986, Nancy had signed with Rhino Records. The partnership resulted in the albums “Boots: Nancy Sinatra's All-Time Hits” (1986), “The Hit Years” (1986) and “Fairytales & Fantasies: The Best of Nancy & Lee” (1989). She also released an album in Australia called “Lightning's Girl” (1986) with Raven Records. The album was re-released in 2002. In 1988, Nancy appeared in an episode of the ABC Vietnam war drama series “China Beach.” In the episode, she performed her signature song “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'.”
Nancy launched the 1990 album “Like I Do” in Denmark with Teenage Records. She followed it up four years later with the album “Tonight You Belong to Me,” which was released in Japan. It was not until 1995 that she attempted a major comeback in the United States. At age 54, Nancy raised eyebrows with her nude pose for the 1995 May edition of “Playboy.” The same year, she released “One More Time,” her first U.S. album since 1989, on Cougar. To promote the album, she made appearances on TV shows. 1995 also saw the singer tour the U.S. with Hazlewood and publish the biography “Frank Sinatra: An American Legend.” Nancy released three more albums in the 1990s titled “Sheet Music: A Collection of Her Favorite Love Songs” (1998), “How Does It Feel” (1998) and “You Go-Go Girl” (1999).
After having the foreign release “The Very Best Of: 24 Great Songs” (2001), Nancy released the album “California Girl” with Buena Vista Records in 2002. She embarked on a concert tour to support the album and rejoined Hazlewood for the Australian release “Nancy & Lee 3” (2004). She then released the album “Nancy Sinatra” that same year with Attack Records. The album was produced by Joey Burns, Jarvis Cocker and Don Fleming. Her version of “Let Me Kiss You” (2004), a song written by Morrissey and Alain Whyte, peaked at No. 46 on the U.K. Singles chart.
In 2005, Nancy released “Bubblegum Girl, Vol. 1” and “Bubblegum Girl, Vol. 2” on Boots Enterprises, and “The Very Best of Nancy Sinatra” under Warner Music in Australia. It was also that same year that the U.K. electronic music group Audio Bully released the single “Shot You Down,” which featured vocal samples from Nancy. The single rose to No. 3 in the U.K. and made the Top 20 in Australia. Nancy did a cover of Cher's “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” back in 1966 and her recording was later featured in the 2003 Quentin Tarantino film “Kill Bill: Vol. One.” She stated, “Then all of a sudden Quentin Tarantino comes along and puts a song from 40 years ago in one of his films and they've suddenly discovered you. That was a real gift that Quentin gave me.”
In 2006, EMI/Liberty released “The Essential Nancy Sinatra,” a U.K. greatest hits compilation featuring the previously unreleased track “Machine Gun Kelly.” The album went to No. 73 on the U.K. albums chart. Also in 2006, she recorded the song “Another Gay Sunshine Day” for the film “Another Gay Movie.” In 2007, Nancy appeared in an episode of the HBO hit series “The Sopranos” called “Chasing It.”
Nancy released the albums “Kid Stuff” and “Cherry Smiles: The Rare Singles” on Boots Enterprises in 2008 and 2009, respectively. As of 2009, she has been involved in the post production documentary films “Sebring” and “King of the B's: The Independent Life of Roger Corman.”