“This lovely lady was and will be
one of the true loves of my life. …
One of the best people
to ever walk this earth,
whom I was crazily lucky enough to know
and call my family’s matriarch.”
– AJ Lambert (July 14, 2018)
“I think we love each other.
It’s as simple as that.”
– Nancy Sinatra Sr. (July 5, 1988)
Amanda, Nancy Sr., Nancy and AJ (2002)
On the July 5, 1988 broadcast of the daytime talk show Hour Magazine, Nancy and her mother shared recollections with host Gary Collins. Nancy Sr. discussed raising children Nancy, Frankie and Tina, granddaughters AJ and Amanda, and her close relationship with Frank. In honor of Mrs. Sinatra’s 102nd birthday, March 25, 2019, here are Nancy’s moving introduction on the program and the rare interview.
“She’s a gem.
She gave us all life
and she continues to do just that.
She’s still giving us life.
She’s the most remarkable woman
I’ve ever known in my whole life!
I want you to meet my mom.”
Nancy and Hal at the Billy Strange Tribute (May 20, 2012)
at The Baked Potato, Studio City, CA
“I see two old friends
with lots of love in their hearts
for each other.”
“I played drums for Nancy over 30 years,
before my retirement.
We never did a bad record
with this sweetheart of sweethearts, Billy Strange conducting, Don Randi and The Crew.
I go all the way back to 1959 with Nancy
before she ever became an entertainer.
Just a baby.
But what a baby.
“She’s just the greatest person
a man could know
and I’m so happy to have been her drummer
for over 30 beautiful years…
Love you ‘Nanny’…
as we called her,
just the best!!”
– Hal Blaine
“Please keep Hal Blaine
in your thoughts now.
Our Drummer Man is a fighter
but he is struggling.”
“One of my fondest memories
of the California Girl collection
is throwing a rough vocal
on ‘Cuando calienta el sol’ in the booth,
with Derol Caraco
playing guitar in the studio,
and having it come out well enough
for the release!
Who’da thunk it.”
Written by brothers Carlos and Mario Rigual, “Cuando calienta el sol” was popularized internationally in 1962 by their vocal group with third sibling Pedro: Los Hermanos Rigual.
There would be almost 500 different interpretations globally by 1964 (according to Cash Box), including English language versions as “Love Me With All Your Heart.”
“The English version does not
even come close
to the Spanish.
It’s a completely different song.”
“Cuando calienta el sol
Aquí en la playa
Siento tu cuerpo vibrar
Cerca de mi
Es tu palpitar
Es tu cara
Es tu pelo
Son tus besos
Oh, oh, oh”
“The lyrics talk about
how when the sun is hot on the beach,
passions rise and
‘I’ can get delirious with desire…
…wanting ‘your’ arms around me
and so forth.
It’s a very sexy song.
But then, making out on the beach
is always sexy –
if I remember correctly.”
“There’s something important
going on with that song.
People react to it
because it’s so powerful.”
“[Hal David’s lyrics]
do give you a description
of something that’s just fascinating.”
– Albert Hammond
Composer Albert Hammond and lyricist Hal David were without their longtime collaborators by early 1975. Hammond had generated an impressive catalog of songs with Mike Hazlewood, including Hammond’s signature hit, “It Never Rains In Southern California.” Prolific and legendary songwriting duo Burt Bacharach & Hal David had also recently parted ways after a string of hits by songstress Dionne Warwick throughout the 1960s. Hammond would team up with David to create one of the most memorable songs of the 1970s: “99 Miles From L.A.”
Albert Hammond and Hal David
In a 2009 interview with Will Hodgkinson for Sky Arts’ Songbook series, Hammond recalled meeting Hal David and how he had initially underestimated Hal’s lyrics for “99 Miles.”
“I thought I was having a baby!
I had stomach ache.
This is like one of the greatest songwriters
in the world.
I’m gonna write with him!
What am I gonna do?
“We did very well.
He’s a wonderful person:
understood that I was nervous. …
“At first, after Mike,
‘I don’t think I like these lyrics,
but how do I tell Hal David that?’ …
I later said to myself,
What a mistake I was making.’ …”
– Albert Hammond
Renditions of “99 Miles From L.A.” were released by Johnny Mathis, Art Garfunkel and Hammond, all in 1975. Hammond’s version became a number one hit in the U.S. on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart, reached the Hot 100, and provided the title track for his 1975 U.K. album which he and Hal David primarily wrote and produced. Of the single, Cash Box’s March 15, 1975 review opined:
“Albert Hammond is driving to L.A.,
seeing his lady
in every passing piece of scenery,
and delivers a behind-the-wheel song
that will get behind your heart.
Deep impressions are left
by this fine production
by Hammond and Hal David.”