Shiny Boots, Nancy Sinatra and “Sugar Town”

Well, I’ve wanted to feature this song in the blog for a while, and today seems to be the day for a variety of reasons – Yes it’s a shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-in (all will become clear).

Last month, as we had moved into 2017, I decided to look back at the first chart listing from 50 years ago which seems to have become, in the course of writing this blog, my favourite year to revisit. Back then the song that jumped out at me was Sitting In The Park by Georgie Fame, so I decided to write about it. Looking at the same 1967 chart a month on, the song that jumped out at me this time was indeed Sugar Town by Nancy Sinatra. I have written about Nancy before as she still tops my personally ranked list of “Favourite Ever Bond Themes”, with You Only Live Twice but I wasn’t really familiar with Sugar Town until recently. As sometimes happens with the music of 1967, I am smitten.


The second reason for today’s pick is that I have been curious of late as to how my blogging buddies got started so I’ve gone back to have a look at their very first posts, some from quite a few years ago. Lo and behold, over at Charity Chic Music, one of CC’s first picks in 2012 was Sugar Town by Nancy Sinatra whilst C (no relation) at Sun-Dried Sparrows also wrote about Nancy in her second ever post (as an accompaniment to showcasing a very shiny new pair of boots!). A lot of synchronicity going on at the moment in our little corner of the blogosphere, first with posts about songs from the world of psychedelic rock and now it seems with Nancy Sinatra!

Sugar Town by Nancy Sinatra:

Of course most people will remember Nancy for her 1966 hit record These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ and although I could only have been about five at the time, one of my very first memories is of watching Nancy and her troop of “go-go dancers” perform this song on television. It was catchy indeed and was definitely one of the songs even my mum and dad could be caught singing along to whilst doing the housework or a bit of DIY.

You rarely saw Nancy without her boots and they kind of became her signature item of clothing. Like Kylie, she was very petite and doll-like, but with the help of Lee Hazelwood did well to carve out a successful career for herself despite being the daughter of the icon that was Frank. As for me, all through Junior School I coveted those white shiny boots but of course I never did get a pair – It was always a pair of sensible, fur-lined (it was Scotland after all), leather boots carefully fitted by those expert foot-measurers at the Clarks or Start-rite shop.

As I mentioned above, there have been quite a few posts regarding the world of psychedelic rock of late and I myself wrote about White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane last week. It was one of the first songs to get past the radio censors with its “Alice In Wonderland-esque” lyrics. Sugar Town also was an LSD song if ever there was one and Lee Hazelwood, the songwriter, freely admitted it. The song was directed at a young audience but was outwardly innocent enough to receive radio play.

So, “What’s It All About?” – I never did get a pair of white shiny boots and somehow I don’t think now that I ever will. I did buy a pair of very bright red ones recently however and people at work, who have never spoken to me before, have stopped to admire them – A great conversation starter and now that I think of it, perhaps how to get ahead in the modern day workplace.

Nancy it seems knew exactly what she was doing!

Sugar Town Lyrics
(Song by Lee Hazelwood)

I got some troubles, but they won’t last
I’m gonna lay right down here in the grass
And pretty soon all my troubles will pass
‘Cause I’m in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo Sugar Town

I never had a dog that liked me some
Never had a friend or wanted one
So I just lay back and laugh at the sun
‘Cause I’m in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo Sugar Town

Yesterday it rained in Tennessee
I heard it also rained in Tallahassee
But not a drop fell on little old me
‘Cause I was in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo Sugar Town

If I had a million dollars or ten
I’d give to ya, world, and then
You’d go away and let me spend
My life in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
Shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo Sugar Town


Anyone who visited this post earlier today may have noticed that the music clip I first included was not indeed by Nancy Sinatra but one that I found in my library by another artist. It turns out that darling daughter once got a CD from the Lush soap people which included Sugar Town by the Fresh Handmade Collective, a group of singers and musicians put together to create promotional CDs for the company. Quite different lyrics and Southend-on-Sea substituted for Tennessee. Still a sweet version though and well worth a listen.

Sugar Town by the Fresh Handmade Collective:

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

14 thoughts on “Shiny Boots, Nancy Sinatra and “Sugar Town””

  1. Wow, yes, there does seem to be a lot of synchronicity at the moment in this part of the blogosphere! (and thank you for the mention, I do still have the boots!) Sugar Town is great. Also I am a sucker for Lee’s voice (mmmm!) and also like just about everything I’ve ever heard it on (I think you might like Lee & Nancy’s ‘Some Velvet Morning’ too, if you’re not already familiar with it?)
    Nancy could certainly rock the white boots with white dress combo… don’t think I ever could! But I absolutely love the sound of your red boots and the fact that you’re getting comments from people you’ve not spoken to before. I’m very much of the opinion that as I get older I need/want to wear more bright colours – recently bought a shockingly bright green coat which I love wearing – although not suitable for any occasion where I might want to fade into the crowd (sadly I feel that as I get older that ‘fading into the crowd’ is just going to be the normal way of things so it’s probably a subconscious last-ditch attempt at countering my inevitable ‘invisibility’!)
    By the way, I’m also interested in how/why people start blogging and so I really should look back at everyone’s earliest posts which I haven’t done before -a great idea, thanks. Mine is coming up to an anniversary later this month and you’ve inspired me to write a little about the whys and wherefores of starting out too – will try and get that posted nearer the date.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Nancy – She looked just so teeny weeny and cute – was definitely the era of very short skirts and boots!

      Like the sound of your green coat – It is a must as you get older to wear bright colours. As youth fades, the colours should get brighter. I read an article recently about the octogenarian fashionistas of Manhattan who wear amazing bright outfits and look fabulous. Way to go. As for my bright red boots, I think it was because I hadn’t been able to find a red top to match that I just decided to wear them anyway with quite a neutral outfit so they really stood out like Dorothy’s ruby slippers. I now have a red coat to match however so they won’t stand out quite so much but are incredibly comfortable so will probably wear them more now that I have the outer-garment to match.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Did a bit of research last night on Lee and Nancy and as you say, wonderful stuff. I am also smitten with Lee’s deep baritone which worked well in his duets with Nancy. More synchronicity – I saw that they produced what was called “cowboy psychedelia” so with their partnership I have come full circle, writing first about deep voices (like Johnny Cash), psychedelia (Jefferson Airplane) and Nancy’s shiny boots!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post, Alyson. Although I’ve long been a big fan of her father’s music, Nancy never made a dent in my record collection. This is my first exposure to “Sugar Town” and I like it a lot. I had read about Lee Hazelwood for years but it wasn’t until recently that I checked out some of his music (both his own songs and the ones he wrote/produced for other artists). He’s almost his own genre and I look forward to exploring more Hazelwood recordings. The same is true for Nancy Sinatra thanks to you.

    Sorry you never got to own a pair of those white boots. For what it’s worth, I’ve had lots of Scottish treats (sweet sweet tablet comes to mind) so take comfort in the knowledge that you grew up in your own personal “sugar town.” I would take a lifetime of that kind of joy than the fleeting pleasure of footwear.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No until I looked into her Bond theme a bit more I didn’t really realise just how big she was in that mid ’60s era. I too am going to have to investigate Lee Hazelwood as again didn’t realise just how much work he had done with Nancy and how many great songs he had written.

      As for the boots – I think my parents made the right call in not letting me have a pair so all forgiven now! And yes, you are right, we do have a long history of sweet treats in Scotland especially our very sugary tablet (my granny made the best) but not too healthy it turns out for us nowadays in our more sedentary lives – To be consumed, and enjoyed, sparingly.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks for the name check and that blast from the past Alyson. It led to me playing Nancy in the car today on the commute to work.
    For the record I have never coveted nor worn white boots!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m loving Nancy at the moment and she kept popping up in other blogs!

      As for the boots, I see there are often quite a few fetching pairs on sale in charity shops – Next time you’re browsing……?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this. I remember it being used in a soundtrack a few years back (Tarantino?). I’m a big fan of Nancy’s records with Lee Hazelwood too.

    I had some white trousers in the 80s which I thought were the bee’s knees. They weren’t. The white boots have aged much better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Didn’t realise it was on a Tarantino soundtrack – might be why I like it so much and just subliminally forgot about it. Everyone is mentioning Lee Hazelwood so will really have to investigate him further.

      Of course you had white trousers in the ’80s – At one point just about everything I wore was white as it set off my blonde highlights and sunbed tan so well! ‘Twas the times.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m almost positive that I left a comment on this post, Alyson, but it seems to have vanished into the shadowy corners of the blogosphere. Apart from “Boots”, I didn’t have much of an appreciation for Nancy Sinatra back in the ’60s. (Too busy swooning over those British groups, I guess.) That’s changed over the past few years though, and I’ve come to enjoy a number of her singles – especially “Summer Wine” with Lee Hazelwood.

    A true regret is that I never owned a pair of white go-go boots!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Didn’t ever see a comment from you on this post Marie but there certainly seems to have been a lot of love for Nancy recently in the blogosphere.

      Because of this post I’ve been directed to the Nancy and Lee Hazelwood duets which I now absolutely love – a great combo. Like you I never did own the white go-go boots and now I probably never will.


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