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Biography

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Overview (4)

Born in Mannford, Oklahoma, USA
Died in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA  (renal cancer)
Birth NameBarton Lee Hazlewood
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

This singer, songwriter and producer who wrote millionsellers for Nancy Sinatra 'These boots are made for walkin' and for Dean Martin 'Houston' and 'Shades', and for Frank sinatra 'This town' was the son of an oilman. Drafted during the Korean war, he became a country DJ in¨Phoenix in 1953. He began experimenting with session guitarist Al Casey by putting echo on country songs. His first succes was the song 'The fool' written and produced by him, under the name of his first wife 'Naomi Ford' (in fact her name was Naomi Shackleford). This composition was recorded by Sanford Clark and had the backing by Al Casey. It became a top 10 hit in the USA in 1956. His electronic gimmickry influenced an other well-known producer : Phil Spector. In 1957 Lee Hazlewood co-founded Jamie Records in Philadelphia with Lester Sill and Dick Clark, using Clark's TV-show to sell the hits of guitarplayer Duane Eddy. In 1961 and 1962, after founding with Lester Sill the Gregmark Company, he had hits with the Paris Sisters - a trio from San Francisco-. He threatened to quit the business when the United States were swamped by 'British Invasion'. Instead, at request of Jimmy Bowen, he produced hits by film-star offspring Dino, Desi and Billy on the Frank Sinatra-label 'Reprise' in 1965. He reached the top in 1966 with his composition 'These boots are made for walkin', a number 1 hit for Frank Sinatra's daughter Nancy Sinatra. He made with her several hits as 'Jackson', 'Summerwine' or 'Lady Bird'. In the seventies he moved to Sweden where he made several records and worked for television together with the Swedish director Torbjörn Axelmann. The two made also a show for the Swedish television and won 'The Golden Rose of Montreux' (an award for the best televisionprogram). In 1993, the famous British pop group Tindersticks issued a 45 rpm 7'' single 'A marriage made in heaven' based on Hazlewood's composition 'Sand'. It was considered as a tribute to Lee Hazlewood whose portrait has been placed on the cover of that single. Also in 1993 - after an interval of 13 years - Lee hazlewood could be heard on the Finnsh album 'Gypsies and Indians'together with the Finnish female singer Anna Hanski. In 1995 he did a tour with Nancy sinatra in the States, canada and Scandinavia. In 1999 he issued - for the first time in 20 years- a new solo album titled 'Farmisht, flatulence, origami, ARF!!! and me...'. It was a new collaboration with Al casey. Surprisingly Lee Hazlewood gave in 1999 also his first solo performances since 1974 in London (Royal Festival Hall) and in Stockholm where he was backed by his life-time friend Al Casey and his combo.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (3)

Jeane Kelley (November 2006 - 4 August 2007) (his death)
Tracy Stewart (1983 - 1992) (divorced) (1 child)
Naomi Shackleford (1953 - 1961) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (80)

Born to Gabe Hazlewood, an oilman, and his wife Eva Lee, he has one sister, Sara (born in 1935).
Has two children with his first wife Naomi, Debbie (born in 1954) and Mark (born in 1955).
Since 1968, he has lived in California, London, Paris, Stockholm, Hamburg, Helsinki, Ireland, Spain, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Texas and Florida, but finally settled down in Florida with his wife Jeanne.
Sang the song "Lee Hazlewood und das erste Lied des Tages" (Lee Hazlewood and the first song of the day) for 'Bela B''s first solo album (2006).
Many of his songs were covered by rock artists such as Einstürzende Neubauten, Nick Cave or Boyd Rice.
Studied at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas for a medical degree.
Served with the United States Army in the Korean War, where he was a disc jockey for AFRS radio in Korea and Japan.
Said the album "Cake or Death", which was released in December 2006, would be his last.
Survived by his wife, Jeane, and his children: Samantha, Debbie, and Mark.
Early in 1967 Lee Hazlewood produced the number 1 hit song for Frank & Nancy Sinatra "Somethin' 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.
Hazlewood wrote "This Town", a song that was recorded by Frank Sinatra that appeared on his 1968 album Greatest Hits and is the basis for Paul Shaffer's "Small Town News" segment theme on the Late Show with David Letterman.
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.
Lee Hazlewood wrote "How Does That Grab Ya, Darlin'", "Friday's Child", "So Long, Babe, "Sugar Town" and many others for NancySinatra.
His last recording was for the vocals of Icelandic quartet Amiina's single "Hilli (At the Top of the World)".
Following discharge from the military, Hazlewood worked as a disc jockey in Phoenix while honing his song writing skills.
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".
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.
His first hit single as a producer and songwriter was "The Fool", recorded by rockabilly artist Sanford Clark in 1956.
Hazlewood spent his teenage years in Port Neches, Texas, where he was exposed to a rich Gulf Coast music tradition.
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.[.
In 2005, Hazlewood was diagnosed with terminal renal cancer, and he undertook an extensive round of interviews and promotional activities in support of his last album, Cake or Death.
He produced several singles on Dean Martin's daughter, Deana Martin, including her country hit, "Girl of the Month Club," while Deana was still a teenager. Other tunes on that project were "When He Remembers Me," "Baby I See You" and "The Bottom of My Mind," all recorded during the 1960s.
Hazlewood partnered with pioneering rock guitarist Duane Eddy in Phoenix, 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 was born in Mannford, Oklahoma, and spent most of his youth living between Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Louisiana. He grew up listening to pop and bluegrass music.
His own output also achieved a cult status in the underground rock scene, with songs covered by artists such as Rowland S. Howard, Kim Salmon and the Surrealists, Miles Kane, Vanilla Fudge, Spell, Lydia Lunch, Primal Scream, Entombed, Einstürzende Neubauten, Nick Cave, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Hooverphonic, Anita Lane, Megadeth, The Ukiah Drag, Beck, Baustelle, the Tubes, Thin White Rope, Yonatan Gat, Zeena Schreck/Radio Werewolf and Slowdive.
Hazlewood was semi-retired from the music business from the late 1970s and all through the 1980s.
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.
He wrote "Houston", a 1965 US hit recorded by Dean Martin.
For Frank Sinatra's 1967 detective movie, Tony Rome, Hazlewood also wrote the theme song which was performed by Nancy Sinatra.
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, named after the first solo album of Lee in 1963.
The young Phil Spector was impressed by Hazlewood's sound, and spent time with him in his Phoenix studio studying how he used reverb and other effects to create hits. Spector's early productions appeared on the Trey label owned by Hazlewood and Sill.
Failure to repeat the success of the Fool, sung by Sanford Clark, found Hazlewood returning to Los Angeles, where he hooked up with entrepreneur Lester Sill.
After he was demobilized in 1953, he and his wife Naomi shifted to Los Angeles, where he studied broadcasting and landed a DJ job in the small town of Coolidge, Arizona.
In 1955 he moved to KRUX radio in Phoenix, where he championed Elvis Presley.
Dismayed by the Beatles' success and the "British invasion" of the US charts, Hazlewood announced his retirement in 1964. Yet the following year Reprise Records managed to convince him to reconsider, with the prospect of producing Dino, Desi & Billy - three Hollywood 13-year olds.
Hazlewood produced guitar tracks for teenager Duane Eddy, imaginatively employing reverb to create a potent sound, and he licensed these to Jamie Records. Eddy's second single, Rebel Rouser (1958), was a US and British hit, and the guitarist went on to enjoy a further 14 US and 25 British hits.
Having settled in Sweden in 1970, Hazlewood released, on average, two albums a year until retiring from the music industry in 1978.
In 1967 Hazlewood signed The International Submarine Band to his LHI label. While their sole album Safe At Home was not a hit, their leader, Gram Parsons, would soon be championed as the pioneer of "country-rock".
Having married his high-school sweetheart, Naomi Shackleford, he served in Japan as armed services radio DJ and saw combat during the Korean war.
Hazlewood often shared duets with Nancy - Some Velvet Morning was one of the tracks on their 1968 album Nancy & Lee - and in 1971 they scored a British number two with Did You Ever?.
Certain he could do as well as the music he was playing, Hazlewood began writing songs and set up his own label, Viv.
Diagnosed with cancer, Hazlewood gave away his gold and platinum discs to friends outside the music industry and worked on Cake Or Death, released to acclaim in December 2006.
Alongside his pop productions, Hazlewood released willfully eccentric solo albums; all were commercial failures, and his 1973 album Poet, Fool Or Bum received a one-word review in the NME - "bum".
Hazlewood wrote These Boots Are Made for Walking and instructed Sinatra to sing it "like a 16-year old girl who fucks truck drivers". The result established Nancy as one of pop's hottest mid-60s singers, with Hazlewood producing all her recordings and writing many of the hits.
His most famous song, These Boots Are Made for Walking, was a 1966 British and US No 1 for Nancy Sinatra. With its offbeat hook and sadomasochistic overtones, the work remains a fine example of the aesthetic that ran through a prolific, if unorthodox, career: his fan website hailed him as "the real creative genius of the popular music scene".
His father was a wildcat oil driller and dance promoter.
Hazlewood scored and acted in several films and also licensed his songs for film and TV soundtracks.
Hazlewood's innovative recording techniques turned the single The Fool (when licensed by Dot Records) into a hit.
Having produced two hits for the trio Dino, Desi & Billy and given Dean Martin (Dino's father) a hit with his composition Houston, Hazlewood was then asked to produce Frank Sinatra's daughter Nancy. She had been recording for four years with no success; Hazlewood told her to sing in a lower register and they immediately scored a minor US hit with So Long, Babe.
In 2003 the British band Primal Scream (teamed with Kate Moss) brought out their version of Hazlewood's Some Velvet Morning (1968).
With the success of Duane Eddy came a series of complications.However, beginning with Eddy's decision to produce himself, after an argument concerning royalties. Lester Sill began focusing his patronage on Phill Spector in the wake of his increasing production acumen during the early '60s. While the duo formed their own Philles label, Hazlewood was having little success with his productions, which included another brief stint with Eddy, longtime friend Al Casey (who had a moderate hit with "Surfin' Hootenanny"), and his own folk-pop group, the Shacklefords.
"Some Velvet Morning," a haunting hymn to the twilight, became an alternative classic thanks to airings, not as much by contemporaries (Vanilla Fudge, Gabor Szabo) as by second- and third-generation inheritors (Lydia Lunch, Thin White Rope, Slowdive, Primal Scream).
Resurfacing in 1993 with the duet album Gypsies and Indians (with Anna Hanski), he then relocated to the US, toured with Nancy Sinatra and was surprised to find himself a cult figure: his albums were reissued by Sonic Youth and Tindersticks, and he was championed by Jarvis Cocker.
Hazlewood earned a Golden Rose at the Montreux Festival in 1973.
Of his cult status, Hazlewood remarked, "Thank God for kids that love obscure things! I never thought anyone would pay attention to those records, and it's a good feeling. It makes me feel like I really did get to do what I wanted to do.".
Hazlewood's innovative recording techniques -- heavily echoed, in similar fashion to Sam Phillips' work at Sun -- turned the single The Fool into an unlikely Midwestern regional favorite and a national hit after it was reissued by Dot. It eventually peaked inside the Top Ten. Hazlewood cut some tracks back in Phoenix, including a few bizarre guitar-effects records by local sensation Duane Eddy. Eddy, an unlikely signee to Jamie Records (co-owned by Dick Clark), hit the big time with "Rebel Rouser" and went on to notch 15 singles in the Top 40. (Hazlewood's influence extended to an associate of Sill's named Phil Spector: Spector visited the studio in Phoenix to study Hazlewood's taping techniques, and his first productions appeared on the Trey label owned by Hazlewood and Sill.).
Hazlewood hooked up with entrepreneur Lester Sill, who had previously been partners with Leiber & Stoller and was still managing the Coasters.
He married his high-school sweetheart, Naomi Shackleford, then spent several years overseas, spinning records in Japan for Armed Services Radio but also on active duty in Korea.
After his recording career began drifting during the late '70s, Hazlewood retired briefly but resurfaced in 1995, touring America with Sinatra after her comeback album, One More Time.
Hazlewood was born Barton Lee Hazlewood in 1929 in Mannford, OK. (A 1968 recording even took his birthplace as its title.).
After a year-long break from recording of any kind, he returned to the studio in 1965, when asked by Jimmy Bowen from Reprise to produce Dino, Desi & Billy -- a trio of Hollywood teens with royal blood (the first two were the sons of Dean Martin and Desi Arnaz, respectively). Hazlewood recorded a pair of Top 40 hits, "I'm a Fool" and "Our Time's Coming," Reprise showed their gratitude by allowing him to record his second LP, The N.S.V.I.P.'s ("The Not-So-Very-Important People"), during 1965.
More and more, his records weren't even being released in America in the seventies, though he continued to do solid work -- 1973's Poet, Fool or Bum was one of the best of his career.
He also contributed two vocal tracks to the Casey album Sidewinder, recorded in Phoenix and released in 1995 by the German label Bear Family.
In 1999 he headlined at London's Royal Festival Hall, returning in 2002, when he was backed by a band of leading British experimental rock musicians.
After another record for Reprise (Friday's Child), his publisher found him a contract with MGM, and he released two LPs in two years: 1966's The Very Special World of Lee Hazlewood and 1967's Lee Hazlewood-ism: Its Cause and Cure. (A planned third record, 1968's Something Special, wasn't actually heard until decades later.) These two comprised the best work of his (solo) career, a collection of desert-dry ballads of the dust boasting a healthy dose of Western fatalism and wanderlust and given impeccable productions that ranged from cowboy minimalism to overblown brassy pop. They were also a place to flesh out material he would later produce for Sinatra, like "Sand" and "Summer Wine.".
In 1963, Hazlewood booked some time at Western Studios (site of a few Brian Wilson/Beach Boys classics) and recorded the tracks for his first solo LP, Trouble Is a Lonesome Town. A concept record centered on the eccentric residents of a small Western burg, it introduced Hazlewood's distinctive performing talents. A keen observer of human behavior with a talent for storytelling, he dryly told despairing tales of hard-bitten small-town characters and prefaced each song with a few knowing words about its subject. It wasn't a formula for pop success, but Mercury A&R man Jack Tracy believed in the record and released it with little interference.
In 1999 he released Farmisht, Flatulence, Origami, ARF!!! and Me..., his first album of new material in 20 years.
In 1973 'Requiem for an Almost Lady' etched onto wax his breakup with Suzi Jane Hokom, who had dueted on several of his MGM singles.
His own LHI debut was 1969's The Cowboy & the Lady, recorded with another female foil, Ann-Margret. Increasingly, though, Hazlewood appeared restless in Southern California, recording a few sessions for country stars (including Eddy Arnold and Waylon Jennings).
When 'Summer Wine', a Nancy & Lee duet tacked onto the B-side of a 1966 Sinatra single, became a hit, it sparked a full-fledged duet album. Nancy & Lee sold a million copies during 1968 and earned its place as one of the most influential records associated with either Sinatra or Hazlewood.
In 1999, Smells Like Records (founded by Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth) began reissuing several of Hazlewood's classic LPs and also released his first new album in 20 years, Farmisht, Flatulence, Origami, ARF!!! and Me...
After his peak in the late '60s, however, Hazlewood had been revered by figures in the alternative scene ranging from Nick Cave to Tindersticks to Lambchop.
He retired at 35 only to come out of retirement just as soon and relocate to Sweden for a spell that yielded Cowboy in Sweden.
"Poet, Fool, Bum. Genius." Without ever taking himself too seriously, Lee Hazlewood somehow managed to master every single facet of the music business he got himself involved with.From his early days as a disc jockey to composing instrumentals alongside Duane Eddy, to his own marvellous brand of knowing, at times sarcastic, but always warm songwriting and on to excelling as a producer with an eye for lush sonics.
He remains a bona fide American maverick whose legacy's imprint is already deeply ingrained on the fabric of most music lover's minds, whether they are aware of it or not.
After Rhino Records reissued their hit 60s duets on CD as Fairytales & Fantasies, Lee and Nancy reunited in 1995 for a small-scale world tour to rave reviews. Backstage at the Limelight in NYC, the members of Sonic Youth were able to meet the man, and two years later drummer Steve Shelley managed to track down the elusive Hazlewood and sell him on a reissue project, to be released on his own Smells Like Records label. It was decided that six old titles would be reissued: Trouble Is A Lonesome Town ('63), The N.S.V.I.P.s ('64), The Cowboy And The Lady ('69), Cowboy In Sweden ('70), Requiem For An Almost Lady ('71), and 13 ('72). Additionally, an album of old pop standards titled Farmisht, Flatulence, Origami, ARF!!! and me, recorded between 1996 and 1998, and featuring Lee backed by his old pal Al Casey, became Hazlewood's first domestic release in over two decades.
The UK, saw Lee return to the live arena as a solo performer for the first time in 25 years, when he headlined London's Royal Festival Hall as part of Nick Cave's Meltdown Festival in July 1999. A packed, star studded audience attended a show which saw Lee reunited with many of the musicians with whom he had last played in 1974 in Stockholm (a performance that had been released under the title The Stockholm Kid in Sweden.).
The Swedish Viking label issued two very rare but strong Hazlewood solo albums. Requiem For An Almost Lady, released in 1971, is an aching meditation on love lost (with some harrowing narration), while "13", from the following year, is a horn-laden departure from the Hazlewood formula that succeeds on the strength of its exuberantly dazed mania.
After hearing Hazlewood's 70s albums, one gets the feeling that Lee is perhaps the best interpreter of his own ideas, and without a doubt the albums benefit from everything he had developed up to that point: soaring symphonic pop, punctuated by dark, poetic lyrics at once esoteric, witty and honest.
At the beginning of 2000 he was also been keeping busy on the quiet. His first book, The Pope's Daughter - a surreal combination of biblical imagery and a semi fictional account of his time with Nancy Sinatra - was published in 2002.

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