Happy Lee Hazlewood Birthday Day

If while strolling town this weekend you happen to spot men, women, and children sporting moustaches of substance and charm, have no fear: Sunday, July 9, is Lee Hazlewood’s birthday, hence the carnival atmosphere sure to arise in cities globally. Hazlewood, who died a decade ago at 78, is an undervalued mountain of American song, his records striking the perfect balance between artfulness and informality. He remains best known for “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’”, the immortal Nancy Sinatra hit he wrote and produced in 1966, as well as for the subsequent album, Nancy & Lee. The string of off-centered LPs Hazlewood issued throughout the ’70s are filled with treasures; we are partial to Cowboy in Sweden, recorded in conjunction with a Swedish television program that starred the musician.

In 2002, Hazlewood self-published The Pope’s Daughter, a surreal and funny memoir about his years with the Sinatras. Like much of Hazlewood’s work, the book deserves a wider audience. In fact, we were so impressed by his prose that we asked Hazlewood if he would be interested in contributing a humor piece to The Lowbrow Reader. For some reason, he agreed to do so. Hazlewood’s piece, “Interview in Berlin,” appeared on the back page of Lowbrow #3 and is also included in our book anthology, The Lowbrow Reader Reader. “We’re about to discover,” Hazlewood writes, “if scribes and reindeer really know how to fly.” Read Mr. Hazlewood’s piece in issue #3 (a very small handful remains for sale) or in The Lowbrow Reader Reader book! And remember to mark your Lee Hazlewood Day by spinning a hundred (or so) of Hazlewood’s songs.