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Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice

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.
—Linda Ronstadt

If you’ve got a spare hour and a half this would be a good place to spend it. Big life. Big voice.

[HT: Varga]

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  • Joan of Argghh! August 9, 2021, 2:02 PM

    Hubs cried through half of this. Her voice just hits someplace deep in his soul.
    Her manner is so matter-of-fact, she never second-guesses the music or her choices of what she should sing. Such a pure, echoing vessel of vocal beauty. The rest of us can only, like Salieri, bemoan our mediocre estate.

  • Dirk August 9, 2021, 3:01 PM

    Sensational, LR, was the best of the best. If you have time, find some of her most recent music.

  • azlibertarian August 9, 2021, 3:07 PM

    Gerard, you may remember when I wrote you about not watching that movie that I thought you shouldn’t watch (I won’t name it here). Anyway, I said then that I’d been repeatedly watching some of my favorite movies while on an airplane. This documentary about Ronstadt was one of them.

    She was able to develop herself into a great talent, and it is a damn shame that her disease has taken that from her. I agree: This is well worth the hour and a half.

  • EdinupstateNY August 9, 2021, 3:43 PM

    Linda’s vocal cords, Clapton’s hands, this isn’t a just universe. I’m sure there are many more examples.

  • Sid V August 9, 2021, 5:16 PM

    My brother had the Simple Dreams album by her. I was 10 years old at the time and I totally had the hots for her. Next year Rumors came out and Stevie Nicks became my crush.

    Probably the single greatest female voice in rock ‘n’ roll history. So so many songs. And I really don’t care that so many of them were covers. She always made them her own, and typically made them better than the original.

  • jd August 10, 2021, 6:37 AM

    Many thanks for this, Gerard. Plan to watch it
    this evening.

  • Jack August 10, 2021, 3:34 PM

    Ronstadt was great and beautiful in her day and time. Another though and my absolute favorite, Karla Bonoff was just as good and maybe better but she chose to write and arrange and didn’t buy into the stardom thing too much. Stevie Nicks….never did buy into that chick with her granny gowns, witch fantasies and penchant for all the other crap she pulled.

  • Hoss August 10, 2021, 5:11 PM

    Always enjoyed Linda’s voice and of course she was a beauty in her day. As for Stevie Nicks I always thought Christy McVeigh had the better voice between the two though I’m guessing I’m in the minority.

  • browndog August 10, 2021, 6:05 PM


    Linda has the bigger voice, but Karla has that special “something” that makes me melt.

    On the album, Hasten Down The Wind, Linda has Karla and Wendy Waldman as background vocalists on “If He’s Ever Near”. The were affectionately know in our off campus house as “the orgasm chorus”

    I saw her perform at The Bottom Line in NYC in 1979, front row both nights. The cassette tape one of the 2nd night’s show is all worn out. A friend, who went with me to the first nights show, made a tape for me. Great memories…

    All that said, Linda does, hands down, the best covers of songs other peoples hits.

  • Frank August 11, 2021, 5:00 AM

    Was fortunate enough to hear her perform at the old Tech gym in Cookeville, Tennessee in the early ’70s. When she talked, she sounded woozy and ditzy like maybe she had just awoken. But when she began to sing, she didn’t need any equalizers (and didn’t really need amplifiers) to enthrall the whole place. What A Voice!