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Linda Ronstadt

cropped-Screen-Shot-2013-08-26-at-3.42.40-PM.jpgLinda Ronstadt is not a regular pop diva.

You might have thought so when you heard “Different Drum” in the 1960s. Back then Ronstadt was the lead singer of the Stone Ponys. She had a good string of hits after that. I can still hear, “you’re no good, you’re no good” in my mind’s ear and my favorite, “It’s So Easy,” written by the immortal Charles Harden Holley (cq).

But she was not content with just pop and rock and roll. She ventured as few pop singers would. She sang Gilbert and Sullivan, old fashion American standards with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra and stood on stage to do duets with the magnificent Lola Beltran at the Tucson Mariachi Conference (1986). Few, if any, pop singers have demonstrated such range. She not only recorded Mexican standards based on her father’s favorites, but also albums with Dolly Parton and Emmy Lou Harris with amazing harmonies.

She is 67, not ancient by today’s standards. So it was a sad and melancholy moment to read that she has Parkinson’s and will not sing again.

She is Tucson born and bred, homegrown with a long family history to boot. It was fun over the years to watch her career develop because her roots are here. That made it doubly sad.