Friday, April 12, 2024

Happy 75th Birthday to the Gorgeous, Talented Linda Ronstadt, All Time Sweetheart of the Rodeo


There simply was no one else like Linda Ronstadt at the height of her fame. That big voice! Coming out of that little body! Rockin’. Plaintive. Soulful. She had it all.

There is no other album like “Heart Like A Wheel,” the record that broke through for her. Producer Peter Asher, an amazing band, and a selection of songs that all sounded cool. She even made Paul Anka hip covering “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” the hit Anka wrote for Buddy Holly.

And all that Buddy Holly, Linda made him cool again too 15 years after his tragic death. Her versions of “That’ll Be the Day” and “It’s So Easy” remain as compelling as her Smokey Robinson hits– “Ooh Baby Baby” and “Tracks of My Tears.” Linda’s take on Betty Everett’s “You’re No Good” solified her as a soul singer.

So is she soul, pop, country? Any song she chose to re-interpret became her own. And then she took Broadway with “The Pirates of Penzance,” real deep country with Dolly and Emmylou, orchestras with Nelson Riddle, duets with Aaron Neville, and on and on.

Happy birthday, Linda!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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