His boots were made for walking...

Lee Hazlewood

He is known to some -- if at all -- as the man who penned Nancy Sinatra's smash hit "These Boots Are Made for Walking". But Hazlewood is so much more than that minor entry in pop country's history. First of all, he also penned and sang "Some Velvet Morning" with Sinatra. Second, his pegging as a country artist is at times unfair. His roots are there, but he was always more a fringe artist, one of the first alt-country acts, if you will. He first broke Duane Eddy and his twangy guitar, then launched a lengthy career in the '60s as an iconic producer/songwriter. It's his own catalogue of albums, however, that garnered my interest a few years ago when Smells Like Records reissued several of his 1960s and '70s releases. Hazlewood's lyrical Americana pastiche and dry baritone voice make for quite a pairing. Plus, the man simply knows how to write a memorable hook, whether he's dabbling in roots country, AM pop-rock, or swinging horns-drenched pseudo-lounge. Your record collection will be better off with at least a couple of his albums included. Unfortunately, there is no career-spanning "best of" album for Hazlewood, something that hopefully will happen in death. So many of his best albums were long out of print, and sadly are close to returning to that state. Hopefully, Smells Like will re-release A Cowboy in Sweeden, as that's the one record I didn't get (and can not afford to drop $75 on).For more on Lee, read this.

I'll close with a suitable tribute in song.

Lee Hazlewood – "I'll Live Yesterdays"

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