Before MTV and VMAs, there were jukeboxes and MOAs. Paving the way for 2015 VMA (Video Music Award) nominees such as Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, Nancy’s groundbreaking work was recognized on October 30, 1966. During the gala banquet and show at the jukebox industry’s 16th annual convention in Chicago, Nancy won their version of a VMA: an MOA (Music Operators of America) Award in the category of “Best Jukebox Record of the Year” for her anthemic single, “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’.” Sharing the accolade with her dad for his recording of “Strangers In The Night,” Nancy made headlines in Billboard magazine’s November 5, 1966 “Coin Machine News.”
“The Sinatras were each tendered honors
because they ran in virtually a dead heat
in the voting by MOA members.
“Miss Sinatra polled far and away
the most votes of any female artist.”
Nancy was not only heard, but also seen on jukeboxes in 1966 via 8mm and 16mm film cartridges produced by Color-Sonics.
The company promoted their MOA convention exhibit (October 28-30, 1966) and Nancy’s films, with the following Billboard ad.
Nancy discussed Color-Sonics and her jukebox film of “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” on the April 10, 1995 episode of The Jon Stewart Show, a syndicated late night talk program that predated his stint on The Daily Show by four years. Jon surprised Nancy with an alteration that he had made to her “video.”
As noted in Nancy’s Color-Sonics Films [Part One]: Pioneering the Music Video Art Form, “music videos” as we now know them would not materialize for fifteen years, but Nancy was an innovator with films for the empowering “Boots” and the romantic “Shadow Of Your Smile.”
Written by Johnny Mandel and Paul Francis Webster, the song appeared on Nancy’s second Lee Hazlewood-produced LP, How Does That Grab You? (1966).
“As for ‘The Shadow Of Your Smile’
popping up in the middle of this tough-babe record,
Lee was trying to show different facets of my personality.
In doing so, it seems to me,
he was showing the different facets to all women.
The gentleness and the toughness,
the sexiness and the wisdom.
I think he captured a lot of those traits and,
because he’s very canny and clever,
he took what he saw and expanded it,
and made it into a marketable product.”
Having been originally released in dual album mixes for How Does That Grab You?, mono and stereo on Reprise R-6207 and RS-6207 respectively, the recording made its digital debut in 1995 with the wide stereo mix on the Sundazed CD edition. Three years later, Nancy would include a strikingly transparent mono mix of the song on her Sheet Music CD, a collection of her favorite love songs.
“The Shadow Of Your Smile” and “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” were directed by Robert Sidney at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Pictured at the time of production are Nancy and Robert Blees, the executive producer of the Color-Sonics division of Official Films.
In the 2009 book Robert Altman: The Oral Biography by Mitchell Zuckoff, Robert Blees, who passed away in 2015 at age 96, comments on the Color-Sonics concept.
“They were supposed to go in video jukeboxes,
to be put in restaurants.
It was MTV thirty years before its time.
I do not know why it was not an economic success–
the customers were delighted with them.”
Surely customers were delighted with Nancy’s Color-Sonics film for the Grammy and Oscar-winning “Shadow Of Your Smile,” as she captured the song’s “gentleness” and “sexiness” with her nuanced vocal and expressive stage presence.