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Nancy Sinatra News

Corporal Cliff Treese and the Battle of Khe Sanh

December 4th, 2018 by Andrew

Nancy Sinatra
At the annual Memorial Day weekend Rolling Thunder events in Washington, D.C. in 2004, Nancy received a very special gift in appreciation for all that she has done in support of our troops and veterans. Cliff Treese and Ron Shouse, former Marines who had survived the Viet Nam War’s Battle of Khe Sanh, presented to Nancy a custom-made jacket with a yellow rose and her name embroidered on the front and a pair of combat boots on the back, along with a pink cap from fellow survivor Glen Rappold. (Special thanks to Cliff Treese and Cole Pierce for providing the photos from Rolling Thunder.)

Nancy SinatraCliff Treese, Nancy and Ron Shouse

“The boots on the back
were the actual ones
worn by Cliff at Khe Sanh.
He took a picture of them
and then had them embroidered
on my jacket.”

Nancy SinatraCliff Treese at home in 2003, with the boots
that would be represented on the back of Nancy’s jacket.

“The fact that he went to so much trouble
for a gift for me is humbling.

“Another example of
how we get back so much more
than we can EVER give these guys.”

Nancy Sinatra

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The Salute to Veterans Breakfast, 2008

November 7th, 2018 by Andrew

Nancy SinatraNancy’s Lifetime Achievement Award
Photos by Cole Pierce

“For your bravery in harm’s way
to support our troops in the Viet Nam conflict
and to your continuing dedication
to the armed forces and veterans of our nation.
We thank you
and salute you.”

Honored with those words, Nancy was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Salute to Veterans Breakfast on November 7, 2008.

 Honors such as this
are given to unworthy civilians like me
who try to help the people
who really deserve the honors.
That said, I accept them because by doing so
I help bring other civilians into the fold
by my presence at these events.
If my name on an invitation
will help get people to the event,
I’m there.

Nancy SinatraPresentation of the crystal eagle’s head

 The first rule of helping out
is showing up.

 When you attend and support
our veterans’ breakfasts, lunches and dinners
your eyes will meet eyes
that have seen the horrors of battle,
eyes that have seen their friends blown to bits
or airplanes shot down from the sky.
Those eyes will haunt you forever.

 War is far from the way it is portrayed in the movies,
partly because of the smell of it.
Once you have smelled that smell
you will never forget it –
or the images that go along with it.

 A group of diverse folks
can help build something a veteran can’t do alone,
a spirit,
a team,
and an energy
that can carry him or her forward into life,
and help him meet life
with the awareness of the support
of friends behind him.

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Nancy & Lee in the 1970s, Part Three: Record Plant Demos, 1978

October 8th, 2018 by Andrew

Nancy Sinatra Lee Hazlewood
A tantalizing glimpse into a project that could have become a late 1970s Nancy album…

“LOS ANGELES – At the Record Plant …
Lee Hazlewood producing Nancy Sinatra
with Deni King engineering
and Peter Lewis assisting.”
Billboard: October 14, 1978

One year after her final release, “It’s For My Dad,” on the Private Stock label and more than a year before signing with Elektra, Nancy recorded several demos at the iconic Record Plant studio in L.A. in September 1978 with producer Lee Hazlewood. Not including any Hazlewood originals, the selections consisted of familiar country, blues and pop material from the 1960s and ’70s. Only one of the tracks would see the light of day, thirty years later. Between August 1977 and June 1980, there were no new releases from Nancy.

“I had sold millions of records worldwide.
I’d had gold records,
big hits,
and then had stopped in midgallop,
to have and raise my children.

Nancy Sinatra

“Now AJ and Amanda
were old enough to understand
that people have to work for a living,
so I had a nice talk with them
and tried to break back into the recording industry.
I had great trouble getting a label to sign me,
because Bette Midler’s famous line
from one of the Grammy Award shows
honoring recording artists is true:
‘The music business…
in which you are only as good as
your last two minutes and forty-two seconds.’ ”

Nancy would continue in the demos’ country vein when old friend Jimmy Bowen, then vice president of Elektra/Asylum Nashville, produced her Elektra debut, “Let’s Keep It That Way,” and paired her with Mel Tillis for a very successful series of duets in the early 1980s. As the “bridge” between Private Stock and Elektra, the Record Plant demos represent one of the least known chapters in Nancy’s career, yet the songs are associated with many aspects of her extensive catalog.

“I Just Can’t Help Believin’ ”
Written by
Barry Mann
Cynthia Weil

“I just can’t help believin’
When she smiles up soft and gentle
With a trace of misty mornin’
And the promise of tomorrow in her eyes”

A #1 Easy Listening / #9 Hot 100 hit on Billboard’s charts in 1970 by Scepter recording artist B.J. Thomas, “I Just Can’t Help Believin’ ” was covered by Nancy’s Speedway co-star Elvis Presley at the International Hotel in Las Vegas for his That’s The Way It Is big screen documentary film.

According to the liner notes for the soundtrack album’s 30th anniversary special edition:

“As he stood in the wings,
Elvis worried about forgetting the words
to ‘I Just Can’t Help Believin’,’
and told his sidekick Charlie Hodge
to bring the lyric sheet on stage.
‘If the songs don’t go over,
we can do a medley
of the costumes,’ he joked,
just seconds before striding centerstage.”

Nancy & Lee’s duet of “I Just Can’t Help Believin’,” along with the unreleased “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” may be included in the duo’s highly anticipated trilogy collection.

Nancy & Lee For The Record
is a planned project
that has not been released,
but we hope it will be eventually.
It will have one or two unreleased tracks.”

More classics by the prolific songwriting team of Mann & Weil appear elsewhere in Nancy’s body of work. The Nancy In London album opens with her superb interpretation of The Drifters’ “On Broadway.” Nancy & Lee reinvented The Righteous Brothers‘ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ ” for their first album of duets. In the 1990s, Nancy revived Paul Revere & The Raiders‘ “Kicks” as a cool collaboration with The Ventures (“A great bunch of guys”). The track would be part of Nancy’s Kid Stuff compilation in 2008. And Nancy’s unreleased version of The Crystals’ “Uptown,” produced by Bones Howe during the Private Stock era, survives in her vault.

Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann


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Nancy & Lee in the 1970s, Part Two: Mysteries of Private Stock 108

September 12th, 2018 by Andrew

Nancy Sinatra Lee Hazlewood

The dreamlike, soft focus settings on 45-rpm combination Indian Summer / Dolly And Hawkeye were natural successors to “Arkansas Coal’s” distinctive fantasy sound of four years earlier. Ironically, details and memories of Nancy’s 1976 collaborations with Lee Hazlewood have been as misty as the productions. In a pair of July 6, 2013 tweets, Nancy mused amusingly on the exceedingly rare single.

“ ‘L’ete Indien’ is a fabulous song.

“ ‘Dolly And Hawkeye’ is a story song I love,
but don’t remember recording.
Must’ve been stoned or something. ;)”

The songs were tracked on June 23, 1976 at the Sound Factory in L.A. for Larry Uttal’s singles-oriented Private Stock Records. His roster of artists at the time included Nancy’s longtime friends James Darren and Frankie Valli, as well as budding rock band Blondie. Following her tenure at RCA (1971-73), Nancy had signed with the fledgling label in 1975.

“We are delighted that Nancy Sinatra
has chosen Private Stock Records. …
She’s an incredibly great talent…”
– Larry Uttal,
Cash Box: June 7, 1975

Nancy SinatraRecord World: June 7, 1975

Initial recordings produced by Snuff Garrett were issued on 45s in 1975 and ’76. Nancy’s final single for the label was derived from her 1977 sessions in New York City with producers Charlie Calello and Larry Brown.

Nancy Sinatra

The third of Nancy’s four Private Stock records, “Indian Summer” b/w “Dolly And Hawkeye,” catalog number 108, reunited her with producer/vocal partner Lee Hazlewood and Nancy & Lee Again arranger/conductor Larry Muhoberac. A Billboard magazine article, “A Day In The Life Of Larry Uttal,” documented preparation for Nancy’s new material.

“[Uttal’s] call to Nancy Sinatra goes through
and they chat about the remix
currently underway on her new single,
at the Record Plant in New York
– her first in some time.
‘She’s really a sweet person,’ he comments,
and he’s quite enthusiastic
over prospects for the new material.”
Billboard: September 4, 1976

Nancy Sinatra

Billboard recommended “Indian Summer” in its “Top Single Picks” for the week ending October 16, 1976. Three weeks later, Cash Box’s review recognized the recording’s unusual attributes.

“A strange single,
sounds like it’s taken from
a grade C French movie.
Hazlewood speaks the lyrics,
Sinatra hums and sings
in a sexy pillow-talk style.”
Cash Box: November 6, 1976

Unfortunately, Private Stock 108 did not chart. However, the elusive single would ultimately attain collector’s item status and raise several perplexing questions which are explored in the following countdown of…

The Top Ten Mysteries
of Private Stock 108 …

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