Happy Birthday to the Incomparable Linda Ronstadt – Revisit 2013 and 2019 Interviews


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Linda Ronstadt is a music legend of the highest degree, her voice and influence a powerful, resonant part of rock and roll history.

Today, July 15, the singer celebrates her 74th birthday, and while she doesn’t perform anymore due to the effects of Parkinson’s disease, Linda Ronstadt remains as important a figure as ever.

In 2013, Ronstadt spoke with Rock Cellar’s Ken Sharp for a career-spanning interview, touching on a number of subjects in a candid, revealing conversation.

A snippet of the full chat, which you can read by clicking here:

Rock Cellar: From your perspective, what makes a great singer?

Linda Ronstadt: There’s something extra. There’s an extra clarity. There’s an extra insistence and an extra sense of desperation and emergency that comes out of what they sing. It’s like the difference between a siren and a car horn. A siren is a whole other thing. You’ve just got to get this guy to the hospital before he dies of a heart attack. A car horn is “Please get out my way, I’m gonna turn left here.” I think great singers are sirens. They have an insistence and urgency.

Six years later, Ronstadt granted Rock Cellar another rare interview, Ken Sharp again connecting with her regarding the release of Live in Hollywood, her very first live album, culled from a performance in 1980 that was originally recorded for an HBO special.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoitbfaVjH0

Some excerpts from our 2019 interview with Linda Ronstadt, which you can read in full by clicking here:

Rock Cellar: As a live performer, what were the biggest challenges you faced?

Linda Ronstadt: Well, traveling every day and never being home were big challenges I faced while touring. I never liked to travel that much. I’m a homebody and I like being home, so all the traveling while touring was difficult. But now I am home, not by choice (laughs) but I’m happy to be home. I don’t get out very much.

Rock Cellar: Do you feel you were able to breathe new life into songs in a live setting and make them come alive more than their recorded counterparts?

Linda Ronstadt: Yes, I think I learned them better by doing them every night. I learned them by recording them, but then I refined them onstage. But I didn’t get to hear those recordings, so I just had to get by on feel. But I always knew I sang them better after having sung them onstage for a while.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tc4e1KH0UU

Rock Cellar: Do you remember the first time someone said to you, “Wow, Linda, you have an amazing voice!”

Linda Ronstadt: No. (laughs)

Rock Cellar: Oh, c’mon!

Linda Ronstadt: (laughs) I remember when I was little and in school they’d say “We’re all gonna sing,” and I’d start singing and the other children would turn around and look at me like, “why are you singing? We’re just getting through this here.” But I always took it seriously and I’d sing out.

Happy birthday, Linda Ronstadt. Thank you for all the wonderful music.

Comments

  • Susan O'Connor says:

    Happy birthday Linda!


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