Linda Ronstadt grew up singing Mexican folk songs on a small ranch in Tuscon. Moving to Los Angeles in the mid sixties at 18-years-old, she quickly distinguished herself with a powerful and crystal clear voice that wowed audiences.
As her career blossomed, Ronstadt may have been less confident than her counterparts, but she was more talented and intelligent.
Sadly, now suffering from Parkinson’s, Ronstadt can no longer sing, but her musical fire within will never be quenched.
“Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice” is a rare musical documentary. These documentaries often blend the dramatic life of the artist with the music they created. However, in this wonderful documentary Linda Ronstadt’s music takes center stage – and rightly so.
Although her personal life is less dramatic, Ronstadt’s musical talents far outshine any off stage antics. From the moment she made a splash in Los Angeles, Ronstadt’s career was defined by her passion and her pipes.
Her career spanned three decades of a male-dominated industry and while she established herself as a wildly talented artist, she struggled to feel at home on stage and in the studio – longing for past times singing with her family.
While many singers search for their niche, Ronstadt purposefully jumped musical genres in order to challenge herself and her voice. At one point she had hits on the Rock, Country and R&B charts at the same time.
Her beauty caught the eye of her male audiences, but as her friend and guitarist Don Henley stated, “ . . . she could be very vulnerable and feminine, then she opened her mouth, that was her real strength . . .”
Her voice was crystal clear, powerful and filled a room. Mesmerizing is the perfect adjective. She was in L.A. as Jackson Browne, Elton John and the Doors played the Troubadour nightclub, developing their sounds and styles. She toured with Neil Young and brought Glenn Frey and Don Henley together on an early tour (they would soon form the Eagles), she later formed a friendship and made an album with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris displaying their perfect harmonies – her influence is still heard today.
Ronstadt even moved to theater, remembering her days singing “The Pirates of Penzance” with her family. She had an ability to capture a room and “claim” a song, making it her own, making it part of her. Her hits such as “Blue Bayou,” “You’re No Good,” “When Will I Be Loved,” and “Silver Threads and Golden Needles,” to name a few, have made her a legend in the music industry.
This toe-tapping, nostalgic film captures a different facet of the 60s and 70s through the eyes and ears of the artists of the era. Ronstadt’s timeless voice, professionalism, talent and hard work distinguish her career. Her enduring love for family sustained this incredible singer on her journey through stardom. “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice” is a fan’s stroll through Linda Ronstadt’s catalogue and what a remarkable catalogue it is.
With interviews from close friends and colleagues, “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” is a celebration of the incredible singer who everyone fell in love with back in the arena days.
What a voice! The film includes fascinating origin stories and fitting tributes to this smart and talented woman, now 73, facing the twilight of her years with a debilitating disease, Parkinson’s.
Most surprising is how diverse her styles of music were to those unfamiliar with her voice and career. If you were a fan, this is a nostalgic walk down memory lane and a reminder of the soundtrack to our lives.
To remind everyone of what an extraordinary singer she was, and the rich catalog of music she produced is smile-inducing. She might even get a slew of new fans because of this film, deservedly so.
This is an affectionate portrait of an artist you won’t soon forget. It doesn’t delve too deep in her personal life, but the people who do contribute offer compelling insight of her skill and devotion to music.
Produced by CNN Films, after its theatrical run, it will likely show up on their schedule.