Lee Hazlewood died peacefully at his home outside Las Vegas, USA, after a three year struggle with renal cancer surrounded by family and Friends from around the world. He was 78.
He succeeded in a music industry he was dismissive of, and is most famous for his work with Nancy Sinatra he wrote and produced many of her biggest hits, including "These Boots Were Made For Walking", "Sugartown", "Summer Wine", and "Some Velvet Morning".
Hazlewood started his musical career Coolidge, Arizona., and hit paydirt producing Sanford Clark’s "The Fool" in 1956. He left his deejay work behind and began producing and writing full-time, producing a string of hits for Duane Eddy from 1958-62. Several of Hazlewood’s labels had Lester Sills as a partner. In his other musical endeavors, Lester had taken a young Phil Spector under his wing, and he often brought the eventual "Wall Of Sound" guy around tod to absorb Hazlewood’s innovative production techniques.
A few of the many other acts Hazlewood produced included Hal Blaine, Al Casey ("Surfin Hootenany"), Ronnie Dove, Ann Margaret , and Gram Parsons..
When Nancy Sinatra convinced a reluctant Hazlewood to to emerge from semi-retirement it led to his most memorable period starting with the million-selling "These Boots Are Made For Walking" and eventually a series of Lee & Nancy albums.
She insisted Lee step out in front of this microphone, and his distant, raspy, and oftentimes eerie voice backed by a sparse guitar or harmonica struck a poignant response from a 60’s generation searching for a sound that reflected their restlessness.
For most of the last 40 years Hazlewood led an itinerant lifestyle, living and recording in locales like Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Spain, and of course America
By the 1990’s, reissues of his solo albums and the use of his songs on movies soundtracks fed a revival of interest in his music.
Following a sold out show at London’s Royal Festival Hall, he sanctioned the release of two albums of unreleased material, most notably "For Every Solution There’s A Problem", toured Europe, and then returned to the studio to record his final album, "Cake Or Death", which was released to worldwide acclaim in 2006.