Lee Hazlewood

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Lee Hazlewood
Lee Hazlewood and Siw Malmkvist in 1968.jpg
Siw Malmkvist and Lee Hazlewood in 1968.
Background information
Birth name Barton Lee Hazlewood
Born (1929-07-09)July 9, 1929
Mannford, Oklahoma
Origin Port Neches, Texas
Died August 4, 2007(2007-08-04) (aged 78)
Henderson, Nevada
Genres Country
Occupations Singer, songwriter, arranger and record producer
Years active 1958–2006
Associated acts Nancy Sinatra, Duane Eddy
Notable instruments
Guitar

Barton Lee Hazlewood[1] (July 9, 1929 – August 4, 2007) was an American country and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer, most widely known for his work with guitarist Duane Eddy during the late 1950s and singer Nancy Sinatra in the 1960s.[2]

Hazlewood had a distinctive baritone voice that added a resonance to his music. Hazlewood's collaborations with Nancy Sinatra as well as his solo output in the late 1960s and early 1970s have been praised as an essential contribution to a sound often described as "Cowboy Psychedelia" or "Saccharine Underground".[3]

Early life[edit]

The son of an oil man, Hazlewood was born in Mannford, Oklahoma,[1] and spent most of his youth living between Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Louisiana. He grew up listening to pop and bluegrass music.[4] Hazlewood spent his teenage years in Port Neches, Texas, where he was exposed to a rich Gulf Coast music tradition. Hazlewood studied for a medical degree at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.[1] He served with the United States Army during the Korean War.[1]

Career[edit]

Following discharge from the military, Hazlewood worked as a disc jockey in Arizona while honing his song writing skills. His first hit single as a producer and songwriter was "The Fool", recorded by rockabilly artist Sanford Clark in 1956. Hazlewood partnered with pioneering rock guitarist Duane Eddy,[1] producing and co-writing a string of hit instrumental records, including "Peter Gunn", "Boss Guitar", "Forty Miles Of Bad Road", "Shazam!", "Rebel-'Rouser" and "(Dance With The) Guitar Man".

Hazlewood is perhaps best known for having written and produced the 1966 Nancy Sinatra U.S./UK No. 1 hit, "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" and "Summer Wine". He also wrote "How Does That Grab Ya, Darlin'", "Friday's Child", "So Long, Babe, "Sugar Town" and many others for Sinatra.[2] Among his most well-known vocal performances is "Some Velvet Morning", a 1967 duet with Nancy Sinatra. Hazlewood performed that song along with "Jackson" on her 1967 television special Movin' With Nancy. Early in 1967 Lee also produced a number 1 hit song for Frank & Nancy Sinatra entitled "Something Stupid". Jimmy Bowen was listed as co-producer but wasn't there at the time. Lee just gave him credit as per a previous agreement with Jimmy. Lee also wrote the theme song "The Last of the Secret Agents", the theme song of the 1966 spy-spoof film of the same title. Nancy Sinatra, who had a role in the film, recorded the song for the soundtrack. For Frank Sinatra's 1967 detective movie, Tony Rome, Hazlewood also wrote the theme song which was performed by Nancy.

He also wrote "Houston", a 1965 US hit recorded by Dean Martin. Hazlewood also wrote "This Town", a song that was recorded by Frank Sinatra that appeared on his 1969 album Greatest Hits and is the basis for Paul Shaffer's "Small Town News" segment theme on the Late Show with David Letterman.

In 1967, Hazlewood formed LHI Records standing for Lee Hazlewood Industries.

Though it did not receive much attention at the time, Hazlewood also worked with Gram Parsons and the International Submarine Band in the mid-1960s. Parsons' departure from the band and decision to become part of The Byrds created legal problems with Hazlewood.[citation needed]

In the 1970s Hazlewood moved to Stockholm, Sweden, where he wrote and produced the one-hour television show Cowboy in Sweden together with friend and Director Torbjörn Axelman, which also later emerged as an album.[5]

Hazlewood was semi-retired from the music business during the 1970s and 1980s. However, his own output also achieved a cult status in the underground rock scene, with songs covered by artists such as Rowland S. Howard, Miles Kane, Vanilla Fudge, Spell, Lydia Lunch, Primal Scream, Entombed, Einstürzende Neubauten, Nick Cave, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Hooverphonic, Anita Lane, Megadeth, Beck, Baustelle, The Tubes, Thin White Rope, Zeena Schreck/Radio Werewolf[6][7][8][9] and Slowdive.[citation needed]

In 2006, Hazlewood sang on Bela B.'s first solo album, Bingo, on the song "Lee Hazlewood und das erste Lied des Tages" ("Lee Hazlewood and the first song of the day"). He said that he loved producing and writing albums.[10]

Last recordings and death[edit]

In 2005, Hazlewood was diagnosed with terminal renal cancer,[1] and he undertook an extensive round of interviews and promotional activities in support of his last album, Cake or Death.

His last recording was for the vocals of Icelandic quartet Amiina's single "Hilli (At The Top Of The World)".[11]

Hazlewood died of renal cancer[12] in Henderson, Nevada, on August 4, 2007, survived by his wife Jeane, son Mark and daughters Debbie and Samantha.

Trouble Is a Lonesome Town cover album 2013[edit]

Musician and producer Charles Normal and a group of musician friends, including Black Francis of the Pixies, Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse,Larry Norman, Pete Yorn and members of Art Brut and the Dandy Warhols, released their own version of “Trouble Is a Lonesome Town" in July, 2013.

Discography[edit]

1960s-1970s[edit]

1990s-2000s[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Obituary: Lee Hazlewood". BBC. 6 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  2. ^ a b "Singer songwriter Hazlewood dies". BBC. August 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  3. ^ Michel, Sia (February 1, 2007). "Pop svengali hangs up his boots". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  4. ^ "LEE Hazlewood interview". Loserslounge.com. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  5. ^ Leigh, Spencer (August 6, 2007). "Lee Hazlewood Obituary". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-08-11. 
  6. ^ "Discogs for Zeena/Radio Werewolf-Boots/Witchcraft". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  7. ^ "Zeena/Radio Werewolf Boots Single: Cover by fetish photographer Helmut Wolech". Zeena.eu. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  8. ^ "YouTube of the Zeena/Radio Werewolf version". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  9. ^ "Discogs for Radio Werewolf/The Vinyl Solution". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "Lee Hazlewood With Amiina: "Hilli (At The Top Of The World)"". Pitchfork Media. October 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-16. 
  12. ^ [2][dead link]
  13. ^ Total Lee – The Songs Of Lee Hazlewood | Small Town Romance. En.smalltownromanceblog.com (2010-01-14). Retrieved on 2014-04-11.

External links[edit]