I grew up listening to all kinds of music. It’s not that anyone in my family were music snobs, they just all happen to like whatever sounded good on their ears. Because of that i still have an extremely eclectic taste in music that ranges from Billie Holliday to captain beefheart.
One of the most common voices i can recall is that of Linda Ronstadt. It would be until much later in my life that i would recognize the talent and how much she played a part in a love for several styles of music she would play.
It saddens me to say that I really didn’t begin to fully appreciate he contribution to not only rock n roll but music in general until she was inducted in the rock n roll hall of fame in 2014 when the late Glenn Frey gave one of the best and most heartfelt induction speeches in memory. Then a group of the greatest female vocalist put on a performance of her songs that could have only been outdone by Ronstadt herself.
Linda Ronstadt couldn’t attend the ceremony because of her ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease which has stripped her from her standard of singing the way she has held herself to.
This tragedy of art and of a pioneer has lead to the new documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice. This documentary spans the lifetime of one of the greatest female vocalist that modern society has ever known.
When Norah Jones came out with her first album I fell in love with it to the point that one of the songs was prominent in my wedding. My only concern was that because Norah didn’t write her own stuff at the time that her success might be short lived. Someone I worked with at the time pointed out to me that Linda Ronstadt didn’t write her songs either and it didn’t matter. It took me almost 15 years to realize that as much as he was right, he was also very wrong.
Ronstadt had a voice and ear that was unprecedented before and after. Every song she ever sang was her own because she made sure of it. She was a songwriter by simply using her one of a kind voice. While never having the confidence in herself one might think is unbelievable, she never sacrificed her want and need to sing certain songs a certain way. In my mind that makes her a true songwriter.
The sound of my voice does not focus on the tragedy of one of the greatest voices in music recording history being gone, it instead celebrates what the world was grateful to have lived through and what she was able to do for women on what is still maybe to most male dominated industries.
It is definitely hard for most documentaries to do true justice to an artists talent and ability but The Sound Of My Voice unique. It does everything you want from a film like this but when pulled together it’s a film that makes you long for a time in music when there were no boundaries and anyone with the right talent could make their way.
Linda moved the world with her voice. I have always said how much of a tragedy it is that the greatest talents in the world get cut down too early whether it is from death or illness while mediocrity carries on forever. The truth is that Linda Ronstadt left the world with so much of her love and talent of every genre of music that we will never grow tired of hearing her. It’s not just a few pop hits. She left us with a plethora of country, Mexican, Rock, POP, Ballads and American Standards that we will never find ourselves bored of her unique voice of the likes of that will most likely never be heard of again.