Written by from NPR
On this episode, Piano Jazz presents a special session with legendary vocalist Linda Ronstadt and pianist-arranger Alan Broadbent, recorded live at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Mass.
Ronstadt was born July 15, 1946, outside Tuscon, Arizona. She recalls that her family was always singing and playing music together, though none were professional musicians.
At age 18, Ronstadt left Arizona for Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. Her earliest success came as a part of the folk band, the Stone Poneys. Though the band had several hits, Ronstadt remembers the early days with the Poneys playing open-mic nights in order to earn long-term engagements.
Ronstadt’s career boomed when, in 1968, she left the Stone Poneys and embarked on a solo career. With hits including “Long Long Time,” “You’re No Good,” “When Will I Be Loved,” and “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” Ronstadt’s easy rock, colored by folk and country, made her a constant presence on the charts throughout the 1970s.
Ronstadt has been fearless in pursuing different avenues for her vocal expression. Following her success on the pop charts, the adventurous singer took up a Broadway role in the Pirates of Penzance. Her success on stage and her demonstrated ability to belt out show tunes led to three successful albums of jazz standards arranged by Nelson Riddle. Further explorations led her to focus on traditional and modern Latin music.
Ronstadt also affirmed her country music credentials by recording the blockbuster album Trio with Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton in 1986. That album spawned four Top 10 country hits and won a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Her most recent album is Adieu False Heart from 2006, a collection of Cajun music, early 20th century popular tunes, and folk rock.
Originally recorded April 10, 2005 at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Mass.