These boots are made for walking by Nancy Sinatra


Rise in power: Nancy Sinatra in 1966 (Getty)

When you’re the daughter of one of the greatest singers in the world, it takes more than a good song to be successful. Unfortunately, Nancy Sinatra barely had a voice, no matter the material. Her austere voice left the record-buying public cold, and even her father’s influence (she was signed to his label, Reprise) could not make one of her first releases a success.

But in 1965, Reprise’s A&R manager Jimmy Bowen delivered it to Texas-born Lee Hazlewood, a maverick songwriter and producer and the originator of the ‘twang’ style of guitar playing made famous by Duane Eddy. . To Hazlewood’s ears, Nancy’s dismal drone oozed cunning sexuality.

The association turned out to be successful: together they released four albums in 1966 alone. In a first session, Hazlewood and his team were killing time in the studio with “dirty old Texan songs”, like the ‘said the producer. Nancy, a clean kid from New Jersey, hadn’t heard of such a thing. As his jaw dropped, Hazlewood’s eyes twinkled, “I said, ‘Oh, I have one. Give me the guitar. ‘”He scratched something he was working on, an irresistibly catchy hook:” These boots are made to walk, and that’s exactly what they will do / One of these days these boots are going to go. walk everywhere you go. “Nancy grinned. She knew that was the song for her. Realizing who he was working for, however, Hazlewood was reluctant to let her blurt out the rude colloquialisms of the song, especially the song. “You played where you shouldn’t have been a problem” line – a gross understatement for sex. But Nancy didn’t care and Frank, in the end, was tickled.

The key to the song is a sinister bassline, like the steps of a dark cellar, played by Chuck Berghofer on the vertical and Carol Kaye on the electric bass. Hazlewood gave Nancy a now famous instruction to sing it “like a 14 year old girl fucking truck drivers.” The song climbed the pop charts around the world and transformed Nancy’s image from daddy’s girl to sexual kitten.

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