Much like Natalia Cole and Julian Lennon poor Nancy Sinatra will forever carry the burden of a very famous singer for a parent. The pressure is immense and with everything you produce in the shadow of what came before there could easily be a temptation to throw in the towel. Thankfully that was not something considered by Frank Sinatra's daughter who became a fully-fledged successful artist in her own right and even scored a huge worldwide hit with 'These Boots Were Made For Walking' in the mid-sixties. A year later in 1967 she also recorded the theme tune to the James Bond movie 'You Only Live Twice'.
With Frank having such a close association with the season it was no surprise that Nancy would be of a similar ilk. In the run up to Christmas 1967 Sinatra Sr. and family with Dean Martin and his gang teamed up for a historic Christmas TV special - the Christmas edition of Martin's weekly variety show. In it Nancy reprised her most famous song but this time with the lyrics altered to be more festive inclined so the centrepiece became 'These boots were made for Santa'.
In 1968 Nancy Sinatra left her first Christmas footprint as part of a Sinatra clan joint effort called 'The Sinatra Family Wish You a Merry Christmas'. With dad Frank, brother Frank Jr. and sister Tina all joining in this was a family affair par excellence to rank alongside Johnny Cash's family Christmas album. Nancy's biggest contribution came on the album's main single 'It's Such a Lonely Time of Year' (with Nelson Riddle on arrangements) which was later revealed to be an anti-Vietnam vignette as seen from viewpoint of parents whose offspring fought a pointless war far far away over Christmas. Nancy also sang on 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' which had its lyrics amusingly changed so 'three French Hens, two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree' became 'three Golf Clubs, two Silken Scarves and a most lovely Lavender Tie'. A 4-track EP of the album was released for the Argentinian market called 'La Familia Sinatra Les Desea Feliz Navidad' with Nancy's 'It’s Such A Lonely Time Of Year' and 'Chicos (Kids)' (which was performed on the Dean Martin Christmas show mentioned above) making the cut.
In 1981 Nancy recorded a promo only single with country singer Mel Tillis that was sent out to radio stations. Their 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' screamed a country Christmas spent back home on the ranch so not surprisingly it ended up on a compilation called 'Christmas Country' (which also featured Hank Williams, Jr. and Johnny Lee). A decade later in 1991 Nancy recorded an even more uptempo rendition of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' for the children's charity compilation 'The Christmas Album…A Gift Of Hope'. Sounding like a cross between a Bond theme and a ABBA festive number this was as unusual as it was great.
Over the years Nancy has spoken about recording a full length Christmas album but this has yet to materialise. Her plan is that she steers clear of the usual carols as they have been recorded to death and instead concentrate on giving Christmas a new jazzy festive record. The long wait continues.Author: Kevin