She gave him a voice, he gave her stories. He gave her street cred, she gave him access. She gave him sweetness, he gave her menace. It wasn’t a partnership that had any right to flourish, but disparate backgrounds made for some kind of elemental magic.
In this segment, from the 1967 TV special “Movin’ With Nancy,” how many times does Lee Hazlewood raise his fist as if to belt Nancy Sinatra for doing something as harmless and flirty as pinching his ass? Yet a sense of threat was present in almost all their duets, and in the compositions Hazlewood wrote strictly for Sinatra’s voice (“these boots are gonna walk all over you”) across their intermittent four-decade partnership. The song they’re assaying below is a Jerry Leiber relationship ballad that puts the fun in dysfunctional — dark but sweet, and fitting for the duo.
Then there was dark for darkness’ sake.