Nancy Sinatra Reminisces On Friendship With Elvis Presley On 'Speedway'

Aug 05, 2022 by apost team

Nancy Sinatra was born to be a star. She was the eldest child of Frank Sinatra, who was referred to as one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century, and his first wife, Nancy Barbato. Nancy entered the entertainment industry in 1961 when she released her first single, "Cuff Links and a Tie Clip." At the time, she was signed to her father's record label, Reprise Records. Although her first single went unnoticed, Nancy continued to work on her music. According to the Musician Guide, during this time, she acted in numerous teen films and garnered a moderately successful music career overseas.

However, Nancy's career changed when she began working with songwriter Lee Hazlewood. Hazlewood taught the rising star how to sing in a lower tone. As a result, Hazlewood critics and a style change helped Nancy flourish into a pop icon. In 1966, Nancy released one of her most memorable hits, "These Boots Were Made for Walkin'." This instant hit was the second single released from her debut album, "Boots." According to the Current, the tune reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Charts. It lasted on the UK Singles Charts for 14 consecutive weeks, and Nacy received three Grammy nominations. 

The success of this single launched Nancy into international fame. Along with her budding music career, Nancy starred in several feature films. However, one of her most recognizable roles was when she was cast as "Susan Jacks" in Speedway alongside Elvis Presley.

Despite her thriving career, Nancy stepped away from the limelight in the 1970s to marry her second husband, Hugh Lambert, and start a family. Decades later, Nancy has returned to the spotlight and is reflecting on her career highlights, the  lessons her father taught her, and working with Elvis. 

Nancy Sinatra, Elvis Presley (1968), (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Much like her rise to fame in the 1960s, Nancy Sinatra's return to the entertainment industry in the early 2000s was difficult. 

The "Sugar Town" singer left her music career behind in the 1970s to start a family with her husband, Hugh Lambert. The couple had two children; Angela Jennifer "AJ" Lambert Paparozzi and Amanda Catherine Lambert Erlinger. In an interview with the Independent, Nancy admits she doesn't regret choosing her family over her career. She is adamant that reentering the music industry has been tiresome. 

"The music industry is very ruthless, now more than ever," she said. "People forget extremely quickly. Rather than picking up where you left off, you have to start all over again."

Nancy's comeback came in the early 2000s when director Quentin Tarantino asked her to cover Cher's chart-topping hit single "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)." The track played during the credits of his awarding-winning martial arts film, Kill Bill Vol I. The following year, Nancy released her first album in decades, titled Nancy Sinatra. According to Official Charts, the comeback album peaked at 94 on the UK Charts. 

In an interview with Rolling Stone, the "Love Eyes" singer shared the greatest advice she ever received about the entertainment industry, and of course, it came from her father and award-winning singer and actor Frank Sinatra. 

"Well, my dad was pretty good at advice," she told the outlet. "And he gave me the advice about owning my own masters. He started Reprise, his label, because he was unable to own his masters at Capitol Records. And he made it possible for all the artists on Reprise to own their own masters after a certain period of time."

Nancy Sinatra, Elvis Presley (1968), (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images)

Nancy's father, Frank Sinatra, was as much an influential figure in music as he was in her life. Another influential musical figure Nancy had the privilege of calling a friend was Elvis Presley. According to Express, Nancy met The King of Rock and Roll in 1960 after Frank arranged for them to meet on a plane at Fort Dix after Presley returned from his military service. 

This was years before the duo starred alongside each other in the musical drama "Speedway." In those years and while on set, the costars' friendship flourished. In an interview with People, Nancy reminisced on her friendship with Presley.

 "I know he was the funniest man and probably the most serious man I knew, both people in one," she recalled. "He made me laugh so hard. And at the same time, he would call me late at night to discuss things like the ghetto, and his concern for people in the ghetto."

Nancy remembered that the "Can't Help Falling In Love" singer had a real passion for humanitarian work. She told the outlet that Presley often brought up ways to help the less fortunate during their long talks. 

"We were like brother and sister," Nancy said. "Priscilla was pregnant when we were making the movie, and I gave her a baby shower. He called me the night Lisa Marie was born. And he said he felt that she was so blessed, but that he felt bad that the babies born in the ghetto were not as blessed. He was a very thoughtful, sensitive person."

Presley has made it a point to give to others throughout his career. According to Nonprofit, displayed in his Graceland mansion, there are numerous awards on display that highlight his philanthropy.

Nancy Sinatra (2005), (Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images)

Are you a fan of Nancy Sinatra or Elvis Presley? Have you ever seen their movie "Speedway?" Let us know your favorite scene from their film, and be sure to pass this on to any fans of theirs you know. 

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