Singer Linda Ronstadt sits down with Michael Hawley for a conversation about a wide range of subjects including early exposure to music and learning new types of music.
Linda Ronstadt is arguably the most versatile vocalist of the modern era, and has forged a four-decade career establishing her as one of the very important artists in one of the most creative periods in the history of modern music. She has broadened the latitudes of the pop singer, expanding the vocalist’s canvas to include country, rock and roll, big band, jazz, opera, Broadway standards, Mexican and Afro-Cuban influences, leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of the ultimate song. With worldwide album sales of over 50 million, at least 31 gold and platinum records, and 11 Grammy Awards to her credit, Linda is the consummate American artist.
While Linda was a student at the University of Arizona, she met guitarist Bob Kimmel. The duo moved to Los Angeles, where they were joined by guitarist/songwriter Kenny Edwards. Calling themselves the Stone Poneys, the group became a leading attraction on California's folk circuit, recording their self-titled first album The Stone Poneys in 1967. The band's second album, Evergreen, Vol. 2, featured the Top 20 hit "Different Drum," which was written by Michael Nesmith. After recording one more album with the group, Linda left for a solo career at the end of 1968.
The rest, as they say, is history — colored with songs that most of us know by heart. Most recently, and perhaps most importantly, Linda has used her voice for the betterment of national arts and music programs. Few musicians have been as thoughtful or outspoken about the importance of growing up in an environment that nurtures healthy music making and artistic opportunities.