Walking Music – Linda Ronstadt

As I said in my post, Walking with Music, in the interests of dispelling the grey-ghost of depression, I am going to occasional post a Walking with Music Artist of the Day and include one song that particularly touched me.  Maybe it can dispel a few grey-ghosts in some music lovers out there or just give them something to listen to.   Or not.   But if you stop by, leave me a like or a comment.  The grey-ghost hates those too.

I set out for my daily walk three days ago to the sounds of Linda Ronstadt’s Greatest Hits.   Usually, as I listen to a particular artist, I enjoy visiting old favorites but have no trouble picking a Favorite of Favorites.   And usually a single walk of 45 minutes to an hour is enough time with the artist.  Not so with Linda Ronstadt.  For three consecutive days I’ve taken Linda along for a walk and I still haven’t exhausted her repertoire.   Listening to three hours of Linda reminded my of the range of her voice and the breadth of the music she recorded … and I didn’t even get to he recordings of American Standards with Nelson Riddle, her recordings or traditional Mexican music or her Broadway performances.  Her voice is simply remarkable, with natural vocal range of several octaves from contralto to soprano, whether she is performing rock, country, light opera, or Latin.   She can take a relatively unknown song and make it her own (think You’re No Good) or cover a well known song by another artist and simply own it with her voice and style.  There’s Crazy, her version of Patsy Cline’s classic.   There’s Heat Wave, her version of the Martha and the Vandella’s hit or That’ll be the Day, her take on Buddy Holly tune.   On Mick Jagger’s suggestion she did a great version of the Stone’s Tumblin’ Dice and she recorded Blue Bayou, a country rock interpretation of a Roy Orbison song.  It is almost impossible to pick a Favorite of Favorites from her hundreds of recordings, but for you, dear readers, I’ll try.

If You’re Still Within the Sound of My Voice was written by one of my favorite songwriters, Jimmy Webb, and originally recorded by Glenn Campbell in 1987.  Linda Ronstadt included it in her 1989 album, Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind, and absolutely took it over with the power of her vocals.  The song includes one of my favorite lyrics (and I am a lover of lyrics), I am calling like the echo of a passing train the cries, One last time before it fades into the distant hills and dies.  Enjoy.

OK, I can’t do it.  One more.   Someone to Lay Down Beside Me is Ronstadt’s version of the song written by Karla Bonoff and was included on her Hasten Down the Wind Album.  Simply beautiful.

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