Lee Hazelwood, who died today from kidney cancer at 78, will always be remembered for writing and producing the hits of Nancy Sinatra, most notably “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” still one of the most striking and fierce tunes about independence from a relationship ever (in my opinion), “Sugartown,” “How Does That Grab Ya, Darlin’,””Summer Wine” and many others.
But for all the good work he did with Frank’s daughter, Hazelwood wrote and sang the best tunes himself. He sang songs of great sardonic humor tinged with sadness with a pleasant voice that hinted of a world weariness, but not of a man who gives up. I can’t imagine alt-country even existing without his influence. I truly enjoy tunes like “Sand,” “After Six,” “Some Velvet Morning,” and this tune he sang on a Swedish TV show in the late 60’s: “First Street Blues”