Fred Blosser told me about this article on Lee Hazlewood, who's dying of renal cancer. Hazlewood's probably best remembered for his work with Nancy Sinatra, but he was around long before his collaboration with her, and he's been around ever since. He has a new CD that I'm listening to right now, Cake or Death, and it's great stuff. "Baghdad Knights" is a fine political number, and I'd never have guessed someone could make a listenable version of "Please Come to Boston." Hazlewood pulls it off wonderfully. Some of the songs are funny ("Fred Freud"), but if you can listen to the snippet of "Some Velvet Morning" sung by Hazlewood's granddaughter Phaedra, or to the last song on the CD, "The Old Man," without getting a little misty-eyed, you're a harder man than I am. There's an excellent overview of Hazlewood's career here. Just click on "Full Review."
Lee Hazlewood - Music - New York Times: "LEE HAZLEWOOD is ready to die. Suffering excruciating pain from renal cancer, Mr. Hazlewood, the reclusive singer, songwriter and producer doesn’t have much time left, maybe a year if he’s lucky. So he has been preparing for what he calls his impending “dirt nap.”
He has decided he wants to be cremated, and to have his ashes strewn on a Swedish island where he composed some of his favorite songs. He has chosen his epitaph: “Didn’t he ramble,” referring to his loner-drifter nature. He has already given away most of his gold and platinum records, which he earned making hits for Duane Eddy, Dean Martin and Nancy Sinatra, including “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” one of the most famous pop songs of all time. He has released his swan song, the quirky album “Cake or Death,” which hit stores last week. And he married his longtime girlfriend, Jeane Kelley, in a drive-through ceremony in Las Vegas."