60s boots

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Swinging London 1967.
Report of Paris Match magazine on the psychedelic fashion in London. October 1967. Photos by Philippe Le Tellier (Paris Match)

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On this day in music history: February 26, 1966 - “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” by Nancy Sinatra hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written and produced by Lee Hazlewood, it is the first chart topping single for the daughter of pop vocal legend Frank Sinatra. Signed to her fathers’ label Reprise Records in 1961, Sinatra records and releases fifteen singles over the next four years with little to no success. In 1965, she is paired with producer Lee Hazlewood (Duane Eddy, Dean Martin), who sets about writing and producing a hit for her. Recently divorced from singer and actor Tommy Sands, Hazlewood talks to Nancy about that relationship and its aftermath, and uses it as the inspiration to write what becomes her signature song. The track is recorded at Western Recorders in Hollywood, CA on November 19, 1965 with members of The Wrecking Crew which include Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Chuck Berghofer, Billy Strange and Tommy Tedesco. Hitting the airwaves shortly before Christmas in 1965, and released in early January of 1966, “Boots” quickly takes hold on radio. Entering the Hot 100 at #74 on January 22, 1966, it leaps to the top of the chart five weeks later. The song has an enduring impact on popular music and culture. Nancy Sinatra’s original version is featured in numerous films and TV programs over the years (“Full Metal Jacket”, “Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery”, “China Beach”, “CSI”), and is covered many times by various artists. “The Boots Are Made For Walkin’” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Swinging London 1969.
Deborah and Claire sit outside a boutique at Kings Road in Chelsea, London, United Kingdom, 1969. Photo by Susan Wood