Lee Hazlewood

Born: July 9, 1929 in Mannford, Okla.
Died: Aug. 4, 2007

An important backroom figure in the late Fifties and Sixties,

Lee Hazlewood is considered an essential contributor to the "cowboy psychedelia" genre. He was born in Mannford, Oklahoma. and moved to Port Neches, Texas, at an early age, graduating from Port Neches-Groves High School. He then attended Southern Methodist University until the Army took him to Korea. After his discharge in 1953, Hazlewood

became a deejay on KCKY in Tuscan, Arizona.

 

Lee first met Duane Eddy at KCKY, where Eddy used to hang around asking for song requests to be played. Hazlewood was doing some songwriting and record production on the side. With his help Eddy made his recording debut in 1955. Hazlewood largely created eddy's signature "twangy" guitar sound in his studio. He continued to co-write most of Eddy's later hits, starting with his first million-seller, “Rebel Rouser” in 1958.

 

Hazlewood moved to KTYL in Phoenix, Arizona, and became

one of the town's most popular deejays, broadcasting Country and Western music. In 1956, he wrote and produced “The Fool” by Sanford Clark which sold 800,000 copies and landed him a record producer contract for Dot Records. He became the dominant force in rockabilly music in Phoenix.

 

In 1957, with the help of Dick Clark, Hazlewood and Still formed the Jamie label in Philadelphia. They launched

Eddy through Clark's Bandstand and within a few years had sold Twenty million records. Jamie also produced Neil Sedaka and Barbara Lynn. The label was partially responsible for the

"Philadelphia music scene" phenomenon of the late 50s and early 60s.

 

Hazlewood moved to KTYL in Phoenix, Arizona, and became

one of the town's most popular deejays, broadcasting Country and Western music. In 1956, he wrote and produced “The Fool” by Sanford Clark which sold 800,000 copies and landed him a record producer contract for Dot Records. He became the dominant force in rockabilly music in Phoenix.

 

In 1957, with the help of Dick Clark, Hazlewood and Still formed the Jamie label in Philadelphia. They launched

Eddy through Clark's Bandstand and within a few years had sold Twenty million records. Jamie also produced Neil Sedaka and Barbara Lynn. The label was partially responsible for the

"Philadelphia music scene" phenomenon of the late 50s and early 60s.

 

Released shortly before his death in 2005, Hazlewood's last album was entitled Cake or Death. He has since achieved cult status in the underground rock scene. Producer Charles Normal and a group of musicians including Black Francis of the Pixies, Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, Larry Norman, Pete Yorn, and members of Art Brut and the Dandy Warhols, released a full cover of Hazlewood's album Trouble Is a Lonesome Town in July 2013.

Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra perform "Jackson".
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