Song of the Day: Nancy Sinatra, “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” (1966)

Nancy Sinatra was the eldest daughter of Frank Sinatra and his first wife, Nancy Barbato. She had been starring in films and been making television appearances since the early ’60s but somewhat understandably struggled to break away from the shackles of his father’s superstardom.

The turning point came in 1966 when she released “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” which not only became a number one hit record and earned her a Grammy nomination but also gave her a distinctive public persona. The press played up her image as a tough-talking, mini-skirted, go-go boot wearing hellcat.

Furthermore, the song has become somewhat of an anthem for female empowerment, despite the fact that its composer, Lee Hazlewood, didn’t think it was a “woman song.” He may have been right, but that is what made it revolutionary. In fact, it doubly worked in the song’s favor, and he himself realized that “coming from a guy it was harsh and abusive, but was perfect for a little girl to sing.”

“These boots are made for walking and that’s just what they’ll do. / One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.”

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