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Linda Ronstadt to publish memoirs
November 30, 2011 7:39 PM   Subscribe

Linda Ronstadt plans to publish her autobiography (aptly titled “Heart Like a Wheel”). Linda Ronstadt is one of the most versatile and commercially successful female singers in U.S. history, recognized for her many public stages of self-reinvention and incarnations.”

She excelled at country, folk, rock, pop, operetta, mariachi and big-band standards. She helped the Eagles get together; she duetted with just about everyone. Her work with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris is sublime. She charted over 120 singles on the Billboard charts and won 11 Grammy Awards. Her RRHoF exclusion is baffling to some. Regardless of RRHoF inclusion, her career, like her talent, is unmatched.

More: Different Drum | Heart Like a Wheel | Someone to Lay Down Beside Me | Long Long Time | How Do I Make You | Tell Him | El Sol Que Tu Eres | Adieu False Heart
posted by I_Love_Bananas (39 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Linda Does Zevon: Poor Poor Pitiful Me

I can't help but think how then-and-again California Governor Jerry Brown feels about this memoir. Well, maybe some personal embarrassment might be a break from the ongoing water torture that is dealing with the state's money troubles...
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:05 PM on November 30, 2011


Just sayin. Jebus H. Christ.

Now with more Waddy.
posted by timsteil at 8:05 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Phenomenal.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 8:17 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just sayin

Oh. My. God. I've got mixed feelings about her cover of Tumblin' Dice because the original is, to me, one of the high points of the entire fucking 20th century, bud good fucking lord, she could sing. That smile when she glances at the camera... wow. I felt stirrings just then. Any idea who the rest of her band on that was? That sunburst J-bass was nearly as gorgeous as her.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:17 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


It seems like a cliche now because it's been a bit overplayed, but no Linda Ronstadt post is complete without the sublime and enchanting (once you get beyond the overplayed thing) Blue Bayou.
posted by hippybear at 8:17 PM on November 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Or that picture of her Annie Liebovitz took of her on the bed, which I can't find a good link to at the moment.
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:20 PM on November 30, 2011


Would that be this one?
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 8:23 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I should also say, her albums with Nelson Riddle are some of the very few bits of music my father and I ever connected over. And he and I actually went to see her Cry Like A Rainstorm, Howl Like The Wind tour together, opened by the Neville Brothers Band with them then playing back up during her set.

It's one of the very few times he and I have ever really shared something like that which we both felt invested in. So, cheers Linda. I have much to thank you for across the years.

I'm actually getting a bit misty at the memory, which I haven't thought of in ages. I'll have to dig up that album and listen to it tonight, and maybe call my dad.
posted by hippybear at 8:23 PM on November 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


To me she'll always be Mabel. (I wish I could have found a clip from the movie....)
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy at 8:23 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Weird how she was on the radio constantly during the '70s and then pretty much vaporized from public view. She had great taste in songs to cover and had a great voice. Cool post.
posted by octothorpe at 8:26 PM on November 30, 2011


Different drum.
posted by parki at 8:30 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I greatly admire her but reinvention isn't the right term. If anything, it's been more like archaeology than putting on various costumes.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:33 PM on November 30, 2011


She did a real nice cover of Little Feat's "Willin'."
posted by infinitewindow at 8:54 PM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


octothorpe, she didn't vanish, but the stuff she was doing just didn't get radio play. Her wonderful stuff with Nelson Riddle was released in the early 80s and her "Spanish period" (e.g., Canciones De Mi Padre) was in the 90s. All great stuff, but not Top 40 or even AOR stations would play it.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:56 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, my goodness. This is something I didn't know about Linda -- her 2009 interview with PlanetOut in support of gays and lesbians.
posted by hippybear at 9:03 PM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why does Linda Ronstadt sing so slowly?

She has a governor on her.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:16 PM on November 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


she didn't vanish, but the stuff she was doing just didn't get radio play

Well, she was getting radio play pretty regularly up through the 1980s. Her duet with Aaron Neville "Don't Know Much" hit the top ten in several charts and countries in 1989, including the US.

Sadly, she hasn't broken the top 10 in the US since then, and has barely charted anywhere in the intervening 20 years or so.

But she's been there this entire time for people who are paying attention.
posted by hippybear at 9:19 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid our family had a cat that loved Linda Rondstat. He was this huge grey tabby, like a Kliban Cat come to life, and when my parents would play Linda Ronsdstat, he would lay down in front of the stereo and purr away.
posted by gamera at 9:33 PM on November 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


I agree with hippybear. No matter how blue I feel, Blue Bayou makes me feel better. Especially if there are muppets involved.

Linda Ronstadt's first greatest hits album was my first real fixation when it came to music. I may have been only seven when the album came out, but I'll be damned if I didn't listen to the cassette over and over again on my little Fisher-Price tape recorder.

I will forever love Linda Ronstadt.
posted by youngergirl44 at 9:33 PM on November 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


To me, she will forever be Rhonda Lindstadt, as my father once called her (unfortunately, I inherited his talent for tongue-tripping). Lovely, lovely voice. I always loved "Blue Bayou" and "Long, Long Time."
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 9:43 PM on November 30, 2011


Back in the new wave days, I was quite unforgiving when any mainstream artist attempted to "go punk", but for some reason I found Linda's "Mad Love" album quite endearing.
posted by davebush at 9:46 PM on November 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


unfortunately, I inherited his talent for tongue-tripping

There's a word for exactly that kind of mix-up. It's a spoonerism.
posted by hippybear at 9:49 PM on November 30, 2011


I can pronounce her name, I just can't spell it.
posted by gamera at 9:55 PM on November 30, 2011


I inherited his talent for tongue-tripping

If I had, I'd be married to her right now.
posted by timsteil at 10:00 PM on November 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I enjoy some of Ronstadt's 70s output, but uh, this really needs to be seen to be believed.
posted by entropicamericana at 10:01 PM on November 30, 2011


And who could forget her rendition of "Plow King"? (Not to mention the Spanish version...)
posted by darkstar at 10:02 PM on November 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


[Comment not likely to be favorited.] Linda Ronstadt turned 65 in July.
posted by wensink at 10:10 PM on November 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


How June Carter felt about Linda Ronstadt not wearing any bloomers and a short dress on the Johnny Cash show.
posted by joost de vries at 10:24 PM on November 30, 2011 [4 favorites]




Linda Ronstadt + Hoy Axton | Glen Campbell | Andy Williams | James Taylor | Phoebe Snow | Frank Sinatra |Bonnie Raitt | Smokey Robinson | Aaron Neville
Bonus: The Trio's glorious rendition of "After the Goldrush"
posted by prinado at 11:50 PM on November 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


I might be really stoned right now, OR THIS MIGHT BE THE BEST MUSIC I'VE EVER HEARD!
posted by P.o.B. at 1:13 AM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


...then pretty much vaporized from public view.

I too came to her from her Nelson Riddle stuff, as my Dad was in love love love with it, and probably her.

I saw her on the teevee just the other week, doing an intro spot for something or other on PBS. Totally did not clue in that it was her. It had to be pointed out to me later. (Not that she looked bad or anything -- she'd just been off my radar for so long, I didn't make the connection.)

She's always struck me as a very interesting person who pursued her own artistic interests rather than easy success. Her memoirs should be quite something.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:47 AM on December 1, 2011


but uh, this really needs to be seen to be believed.

Inside my black heart, there's a murderous beast who, if not kept in check by my humanity and the laws of man, would climb into that screen and murder Leo Sayer over and over again.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:57 AM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


And who could forget her rendition of "Plow King"? (Not to mention the Spanish version...)

You might be kidding, but the only two Ronstadt songs I routinely sing around the house are Girl Talk* and the Plow King attack ad. Linda's proposed Spanish-language version,
"Senor Plow no es macho,
Es solamente un borracho,"
is what I sing in celebration during the first big snowstorm of the year.

*When I listen to the actual song, it's Elvis Costello I'm listening to... but when I'm standing alone at the kitchen sink doing dishes and singing, I'm belting out a sadly inadequate impression of Linda Ronstadt's range.
posted by Elsa at 8:19 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did not know that her family was so instrumental in Arizona history - very cool. And I've always liked her rock/pop stuff from the 60s and 70s - but it was her collaboration with Nelson Riddle that truly rocked me.

I watched one of her performances on A&E in 1986 as she sang some of those Great American Songbook tunes - until that time, I had no awareness to speak of about Sinatra and such. Hearing her sing those tunes, however, was what turned me into a HUGE fan of the true classics. If I hadn't seen her performing "What's New," I may never have gotten hooked on Sinatra, Martin, Clooney, Sammy, Torme, etc.

Thank you Linda.
posted by davidmsc at 9:16 AM on December 1, 2011


I heard the mothership is going to beam down a new aud tape of John Downland covers.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:34 PM on December 1, 2011


I think I still have my album copy of "Mad Love" that I got for my birthday in 1980. I always thought she was gorgeous, and I love 70s Southern California music. This post made me spend most of the day reading about the scene and listening to Linda Ronstadt music on Youtube.
posted by mogget at 8:41 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


El Sol Que Tu Eres was my subconscious teenage angst song. Heard it a lot growing up (her Mariachi phase was very popular on my Dad's side of the family), but didn't understand the meaning until a couple years ago. I can't directly relate to working hard in the fields for some greedy boss, but something about the desire to want to be treated fairly resonated with me.

She was also in the movie FM, which is a very silly but fun movie.
posted by luckynerd at 9:11 PM on December 1, 2011


My dad was a big Linda Rondstadt fan when I was growing up, and I've always loved her... she's been so prolific, though, that there's always something new to discover.

She also features (as an archangel!) in the awesomely batshit Christmas movie La Pastorela, which my mom special-ordered on VHS from Mexico back in the day.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 9:55 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


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