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An Exceptional Singer is Revisited in the Documentary 'Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice'

Marion Charatan

Posted on September 27, 2019 18:50

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Linda Ronstadt is one of the greatest rock and roll women of the 70s. There is a resurgence of interest in this extraordinary talent whose songs are part of the tapestry of so many lives.

Peter Asher, Linda Ronstadt's long-time manager has it right. In a recent article in Rolling Stone magazine, he said ‘“People are to some extent reassessing Linda’s genius and realizing just how good she was." The producer called her "the best singer I’ve ever worked with in my life.”

Who can forget the beautiful brunette doe-eyed young woman who liked to sing barefoot wearing hippie- era jewelry in the 70s?

And if Different Drum or You’re No Good are before your time or tunes you're unfamiliar with, stand by for a treat and have a listen.

I read Ronstadt's biography Simple Dreams, A Musical Memoir last week. What I enjoyed about her book is that the singer, who had her greatest popularity in the 1970s,  focuses on writing about the craft of singing -- and doesn't get caught up detailing her personal life. That makes this an intelligent and introspective read. Ronstadt is modest through and through,considering her exceptional talent as a vocalist.

It’s common knowledge that Ronstadt partnered up with Gov. Jerry Brown for years as well as the great Aaron Neville, with whom she recorded the wildly successful duo ‘Don’t Know Much’ in 1989 (written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Tom Snow).

I appreciate that Ronstadt doesn’t feel the need to go into all the lascivious details about her relationships. That shows respect, restraint and class.

A documentary was released earlier this month called 'Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.' It chronicles the creative life of a singer who has not received the recognition that she deserves, in my estimation. However, I was pleased to see that she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014--long overdue.

Early on, Ronstadt focused on rock and roll with the Stone Poneys. Later on, she sang opera in the Broadway production of The Pirates of Penzance and returned to her Mexican roots singing multiple albums in Spanish.

Linda Ronstadt's voice was tragically quieted by the devastating diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, a relentless neurological disease that affects motor coordination and speech.

Anyone who grew up with the lovely Linda, will always remember her doe-like large brown eyes and carefree spirit. But listening to Rondstadt on Rolling Stone’s Music Now podcast, I have a newfound respect for a woman who succeeded in an industry where it is so hard to make a dent.  Luckily, for all of us who are music fans, Linda Ronstadt’s voice will be preserved forever, through her singing, books and interviews--and now a new documentary.

As she did with her music career, Ronstadt handles her illness with great courage and dignity. She is truly a gifted woman who will leave a legacy for generations to come.

 

Marion Charatan

Posted on September 27, 2019 18:50

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