Nancy knew the importance of The Ed Sullivan Show and was happy to appear whenever she was invited. She recalls that, “If you had a record coming out, you could pretty much count on a chart record. That’s why I did the show so often.”
For Nancy’s first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on November 17, 1963, the smiling ingénue dressed in overalls and a plaid shirt sang “Old Straw Hat” and “Hey Good Lookin’” with her then husband, singer Tommy Sands. Newly single and ready to take on the audience, a blonder Nancy next appeared on February 27, 1966. She performed her smash hit, “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” on a groovy set with go-go dancers (in boots of course). The song proved to be her most successful hit, and remained at Number One for twelve weeks. On other evenings, she performed her hits “Sugar Town” (#5) and “Love Eyes” (#15), as well as covers like “Let it Be Me” and her dad’s signature song, “Strangers in the Night.” In 1967, after traveling to Vietnam to entertain troops, Sinatra returned to The Ed Sullivan Show and sang “My Buddy” with pictures from her overseas show as a backdrop.
Nancy Sinatra also made two appearances with her friend Lee Hazlewood, who wrote “These Boots” for her. They performed duets of “Summer Wine” and “Storybook Children.” For her last Sullivan performance, Sinatra sang “The Boys in the Band” while a Rutgers University marching band played behind her. The set then transformed into a small, winter house where Sinatra (now dressed in an Eskimo parka) sang her version of “California Dreamin’.”
Nancy was such a popular guest that she made twelve appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. She once stated that “We felt we were lucky to have the job. And it was live TV!”
After charting ten times, Sinatra decided in the mid-1970s that it was time to settle down and focus on being a mother. But she returned with a vengeance in 1995 with a controversial spread in Playboy magazine at age 54. In 2004, Nancy recorded a rock album, with songs written for her by U2, Sonic Youth and other artists she influenced. In 2009, she released a digital only album, and she currently hosts a weekly satellite radio progam.