Linda Ronstadt - Kennedy Center Honors

January 8, 2020

An On-Line Publication of the Anonymous Anything Society  


  News channel CNN devoted an hour to her career this past weekend.  It isn’t as if the talented Tucsonan hasn’t been recognized, almost from the moment she helped organize a small rock groupof young musicians who got together in Los Angeles.
Linda Ronstadt and
The Stone Poneys
They named themselves “The Stone Poneys,” and released a hit “single” (45rpm recording) of “A Distant Drum.”  Her voice demanded attention.  As some writer about the early folk/rock scene put it:  “It filled the room.”  Emmylou Harris, a lady who commanded attention herself in more than one musical genre, declared that “Linda could sing anything.”

   She proved it by singing the venerable “Gilbert and Sullivan” opera, “Pirates of Penzance”, on the Broadway stage for a season.

   It was apparent she loved the mariachi music taught to her by her father whose forebearers were German-Mexican pioneer wagon builders and founders of a huge downtown hardware store.  I visited it often.Among many things, it offered a variety of barbed wire and stovepipe sizes!

   Very definitely, she earned the sobriquet of “First Lady of Rock” by touring with the likes of The Doors, The Eagles, Neil Young, and Jackson Browne.
Linda Ronstadt and
David Bowie

    Backed by the Nelson Riddle orchestra, she went on to garner sensational success while conquering the Great American Song Book, the popular music of the 20’s, 30s and 40s.  Rolling Stone readers voter her best female vocalist of the 1970s.

   It has been estimated the she has sold over one-hundred million records worldwide before being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 and receiving the National Medal for the Arts and Humanities on December 8th 2019 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the performing Arts.
Santa Monica   1968

   Parkinson’s Disease has prevented her from singing since 2011.  Interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper this week, she appeared to be little affected.

-Phil Richardson, Storyteller and Observer of the Human Condition. .

Our unending thanks to Jim Bromley, who programs our Archive of Prior Commentaries

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