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Adorable Linda Ronstadt Could Sing Like a Bird

December 18, 2015

Our latest contributor, Doug Christian, takes a deep dive into the great Linda Ronstadt's career.  Here she is at her peak with When Will I Be Loved, and here are Doug's comments.- TDR

 

Linda Maria Ronstadt (born July 15, 1946) is an American popular music singer. She has earned 11 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, an ALMA Award, and numerous United States and internationally certified gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums. She has also earned nominations for a Tony Award and a Golden Globe award (both for The Pirates of Penzance).

Establishing her professional career in the mid-1960s at the forefront of California's emerging folk rock and country rock movements –- genres which later defined post-1960s rock music –- Ronstadt joined forces with Bobby Kimmel and Kenny Edwards and became the lead singer of a folk-rock trio, the Stone Poneys. Later, as a solo artist, she released "Hand Sown … Home Grown" in 1969, which has been described as the first alternative country record by a female recording artist. Although fame eluded her during these years, Ronstadt actively toured with Doors, Neil, Jackson Browne, and others, made numerous television show appearances, and began to contribute her voice to a variety of albums.

In Her Own Words

"I grew up singing Mexican music, and that's based on indigenous Mexican rhythms. Mexican music also has an overlay of West African music, based on huapango drums, and it's kind of like a 6/8 time signature, but it really is a very syncopated 6/8. And that's how I attack vocals." (Mix Online)

"If I didn't hear it on the radio, or if my dad wasn't playing it on the piano, or if my brother wasn't playing it on the guitar or singing it in his boys' choir, or my mother and sister weren't practicing a Broadway tune or a Gilbert and Sullivan song, then I can't do it today. It's as simple as that. All of my influences and my authenticity are a direct result of the music played in that Tucson living room." (Dirty Linen)

"Everybody has their own level of doing their music. ... Mine just happened to resonate over the years, in one way and another, with a significant enough number of people so that I could do it professionally." (Goldmine)

 

 You're No Good


On The Trio Recordings and Tour:
"When (we) sang, it was a beautiful and different sound I've never heard before. We (recorded the vocals) as individual parts, because we didn't have the luxury of spending a lot of time together on a tour bus … and knowing each other's (vocal) moves … takes years." (Well worth a listen when you have time) (Mix Online)

To Sum It All Up
"Your musical soul is like facets of a jewel, and you stick out one facet at a time … (and) I tend to work real hard on whatever it is I do, to get it up to speed, up to a professional level. I tend to bury myself in one thing for years at a time." (Goldmine)

...And Sadly
 n 2011, Ronstadt was interviewed by the Arizona Daily Star and announced her retirement. In August 2013, she revealed to AARP that she has Parkinson's disease, and "can no longer sing a note." 

 

 Long, Long Time


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