ronstadt shopdLinda Ronstadt

rondstat pic 2Singer Linda Ronstadt poses for a portrait for
her first solo album ‘Hand Sown … Home Grown’
on March 1, 1968 in Topanga, California.
Photo by Ed Caraeff/Getty Images
via the San Francisco Chronicle

Since I manage accounts for a packaging design firm, I spend a lot of time traveling thru NYC, mid- and south New Jersey, and into Pennsylvania. To deal with the frustration of regional traffic that can make a grown man cry, as well as hours alone at the wheel, I listen to the radio.

Some months ago I discovered a public radio app for my Droid phone. My go-to programs are Leonard Lopate and Brian Lehrer for talk, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and Car Talk for humor and lift, and Terry Gross of Fresh Air for her insightful interviews.

This week, Terry interviewed Linda Rondstadt who has just published a memoir, Simple Dreams. The book was released to the publisher just prior to Ronstadt’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, a condition which ended her singing career.

Ronstadt has a very measured voice, even tempered in both reflection and opinion, and offers her views of the world that she grew up in. She spoke of her music, her family, and her grateful thanks to all the gifts she’s been given from her talent to the people she’s met and had the opportunity to sing with. We’re provided with samples of her music that ranged from country, to pop, to American standards, and finally to the music of her Mexican heritage. She was a celebrity who didn’t want to be a celebrity – her Catholic upbringing and her traditional views puts her in direct contrast to what we view as the world of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll that we thought the rock industry to be.

This wasn’t a sad interview at all but a celebration and she spoke only barely of her illness. She is a joy to listen to and not at all what I expected. I’ve already listened to the interview twice. I think I’m going for a third time.

It’s Friday – what will you be listening to this weekend?

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