Two for Tuesday: Linda Ronstadt

Running a little behind today. I usually have these written a day or two in advance… where does the time go?

Way back in the Sixties, we heard a song called “Different Drum” by a band named The Stone Poneys. It was most notable for the lead vocal; it really made you sit up and take notice. Later we learned that the voice belonged to today’s guest artist, Linda Ronstadt. Wikipedia tells us, “In total, she has released over 30 studio albums and 15 compilation or greatest hits albums. Ronstadt charted 38 Billboard Hot 100 singles, with 21 reaching the top 40, 10 in the top 10, three at number 2, and ‘You’re No Good’ at number 1.” That’s quite an accomplishment.

She had an incredible voice, suitable for singing ballads, standards, country, jazz, R&B, Spanish songs (she’s half Mexican), and straight-ahead rock & roll, and she’s done all of the above during her career. Parkinson’s disease, which she was diagnosed with in 2012, has ended her ability to sing, though she’s been retired since 2011.

I’m surprised that she only had the one #1 hit, “You’re No Good.” It also reached #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #7 in Canada in 1975.

in the mid-Eighties, Linda did several albums of jazz standards with Nelson Riddle. Peter Asher, her manager, and Asylum Records, her label, were uneasy about her changing course, as she was the pre-eminent female voice in rock, but she said she wanted to rescue these “little jewels of artistic expression” from “spending the rest of their lives riding up and down in elevators.” The first album, What’s New, spent 81 weeks on the Billboard album chart, rising as high as #3 (behind Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson) and was certified triple platinum by RIAA. The second album, Lush Life, rose to #13 and was certified platinum in a matter of weeks. From that album, here’s “Skylark,” the first single from the album. It reached #12 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1984.

Linda Ronstadt, your Two for Tuesday, August 23, 2016.

7 thoughts on “Two for Tuesday: Linda Ronstadt

  1. I think she has one of the best voices ever. I loved her What’s New album and I have her album dedicated to her dad. She sang all the songs in Spanish and it is great!

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    1. She has a couple of albums of Spanish songs, which I didn’t know until yesterday, two of Mexican mariachi music and one of Caribbean music. She wasn’t just a (very) pretty girl who sang nice songs; she challenged herself, first with the standards, then with the Spanish music. She put a lot of effort behind those projects, indeed behind all her albums. Sad she’s unable to sing anymore….


  2. I had one of her first solo albums, and she sang a couple Hank Williams (SR) songs on it. She had a wonderful voice. I’m glad there’s lasting evidence.


    1. I would have liked to have heard her sing “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Her early albums were mostly country. I never realized The Eagles started as her backup band…


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