Happy Birthday: Linda Ronstadt
Earlier this year, Linda Ronstadt celebrated the release of Duets, a compilation of some of her favorite collaborations from throughout the course of her career, but now it’s time for a different sort of celebration…specifically, a birthday celebration, as Ms. Ronstadt turns 68 today.
Born in Tucson, Arizona in 1946, Linda Maria Ronstadt was not, it would be fair to say, born into a musical family, but just because your mom’s a homemaker and your dad’s a machinery merchant doesn’t mean you can take your natural love of music and make a career out of it. Ronstadt’s career as a professional musician and songwriter stretches back to the mid-1960s, when she began a collaboration with Bobby Kimmel and Kenny Edwards as The Stone Poneys (surely you’re familiar with their take on Michael Nesmith’s “Different Drum”), but it wasn’t until 1969 that she first began her solo career, releasing her debut album, Hand Sown…Home Grown.
Ronstadt’s stock and trade has always been that of playing interpreter to other people’s material, but as the masses realized long ago, she’s darned good at making that material her own, whether it’s by Buddy Holly or the brothers Gershwin, in English or in Spanish, be it rock and roll, country, R&B, or jazz. To celebrate her birthday, we’ve compiled a playlist which takes you all the way through her years as a part of the Asylum/Elektra family, along with a few bonus tracks that we just couldn’t resist including.