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Book B RONSTADT, LINDA Ronstadt Adult Biography Collection
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Summary

Summary

Tracing the timeline of her remarkable life, Linda Ronstadt, whose forty-five year career has encompassed a wide array of musical styles, weaves together a captivating story of her origins in Tucson, Arizona, and her rise to stardom in the Southern California music scene of the 1960s and '70s. Linda Ronstadt was born into a musical family, and her childhood was filled with everything from Gilbert and Sullivan to Mexican folk music to jazz and opera. Her artistic curiosity blossomed early, and she and her siblings began performing their own music for anyone who would listen. Now, in this beautifully crafted memoir, Ronstadt tells the story of her wide-ranging and utterly unique musical journey. Ronstadt arrived in Los Angeles just as the folkrock movement was beginning to bloom, setting the stage for the development of country-rock. As part of the coterie of like-minded artists who played at the famed Troubadour club in West Hollywood, she helped define the musical style that dominated American music in the 1970s. One of her early backup bands went on to become the Eagles, and Linda went on to become the most successful female artist of the decade. In Simple Dreams , Ronstadt reveals the eclectic and fascinating journey that led to her long-lasting success, including stories behind many of her beloved songs. And she describes it all in a voice as beautiful as the one that sang "Heart Like a Wheel"-longing, graceful, and authentic.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ronstadt's memoir is remarkable but not for reasons that readers might think; it is remarkable because of its very ordinariness. There are no tales of parental cruelty or substance abuse. She is lucky that her life has been exceedingly normal, or as normal as it can be for someone as talented and famous as she is, having sold more than a million records. Retired from performing since 2009, Ronstadt now looks back fondly to her childhood in Arizona her Mexican heritage comes from her father's side and shares anecdotes about life on the road, including her first gigs at area coffeehouses and her decision when still a teenager to move by herself to Los Angeles because that was where the music was. She writes about her work with the folk-rock band the Stone Poneys, becoming a solo act, exploring the Great American Songbook, recording traditional Mexican folk songs with Ruben Fuentes, and her famous musical friendships, including those with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. Ronstadt's fans will love this refreshingly nice and gracious musical memoir.--Sawyers, June Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Born in 1946 in Tucson, Ariz., Ronstadt counted among her relatives a grandfather who wrote an arrangement of Pirates of Penzance generations before she starred in it on Broadway, and an aunt whose collection of folk songs, Canciones de me Padre, would lend its title to Ronstadt's first Spanish-language album. As a kid, she listened to opera at her grandparents' house and mariachi rancheras on Mexican radio, and she harmonized with her siblings while singing Hank Williams songs. All this resulted in Ronstadt's gift for musical genealogy and an almost scholarly dedication to learning the music of different cultures, combined with an insatiable desire to emulate what she heard. Reading Simple Dreams, one sees why its author, a perpetual student of her craft, was awarded an honorary doctorate by Berklee College of Music: the book is a well-written glimpse into musical history as it was being made by Ronstadt and her peers. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

The publisher of this memoir wants readers to know the book wasn't ghostwritten, that Ronstadt can write with skill. Indeed, the swift prose is conversational and informed, much like Ronstadt's music. But it's difficult to call her a writer because her first book leaves so much left unsaid This isn't a tell-all autobiography, it's simply Ronstadt's quick recollections of her life from childhood to rising country rock star to Grammy-winning conduit of traditional Mexican music, all with a tone as welcoming as the singer's sweet face and emotive voice. But where her songs often showed traces of turmoil or unrest, this title doesn't touch anything more complicated than the passing of friends and family. Most alarming, there's no insight, or even mention, of how this lifelong singer is coping with the effects of Parkinson's disease on her singing abilities. The title is nothing beyond a musician's journey through a career in song, suspiciously devoid of pitfalls and depression. This is disappointing, because the lore of Ronstadt often seemed more interesting than her music: the romantic life that shifted from musicians to politicians; the public activism; and the burdens and delights of being the highest paid woman in music. Those aspects of her life aren't here. It's curious, as that's something a true writer would not omit. Verdict Ronstadt superfans and musicians who want to get inside the creative process of a "star" will love this book. For everyone else, keep your expectations at bay or wait for a more fulfilling bio.-Rob Morast, Norfolk, VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

1 Tucsonp. 1
2 Hart Streetp. 35
3 Going Solop. 48
4 California Country Rockp. 57
5 The Eaglesp. 69
6 Beachwood Drivep. 71
7 Neil Young Tourp. 77
8 Emmyloup. 83
9 Peter Asherp. 88
10 Heart Like a Wheelp. 95
11 Malibup. 99
12 Getting Restlessp. 115
13 Meeting Joe Pappp. 121
14 The Pirates of Penzancep. 131
15 Jerry Wexler and the Great American Songbookp. 142
16 Nelson Riddlep. 151
17 Suenosp. 163
18 Canciones de Mi Padrep. 169
19 Cry Like a Rainstormp. 181
20 Living the Dreamp. 191
Epiloguep. 199
Acknowledgmentsp. 201
Discographyp. 203
Indexp. 227

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