I saw the news today about Linda Ronstadt revealing that she has Parkinson’s disease, which has robbed her (among other things) of the ability to sing anymore.
Like most people who grew up in the ’70s and early ’80s, I heard a lot of Linda Ronstadt on the radio and I’m sure I’m in the majority of guys who had a crush on her. Ronstadt, however, was far more than just a singer with a strong voice and a sexy presence, and listened to FM radio, I heard a lot of Linda Ronstadt. Like her friend and frequent musical partner Emmylou Harris, she was one of those great interpretive singers who served as an important conduit between mainstream listeners and emerging songwriters (Warren Zevon and Elvis Costello come first to mind) as well as re-introducing old songs (“Blue Bayou” and “It’s So Easy” to name two) and exploring a range of musical genres.
Here are a couple of vintage clips. One of her covering Zevon’s “Hasten Down The Wind” (I like the song “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” but that just seemed too heavy-handed to use)
and just a rockin’, and powerfully sung, version of “Tumblin’ Dice”