Linda Ronstadt

The singer Linda Ronstadt has said that she is suffering from Parkinson’s disease that has progressed to such a stage that she is no longer able to sing. That is sad because she had a lovely voice.

Here is one of my favorites, her version of Blue Bayou in a live performance back in 1977. The song was written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson, and Orbison did a great version of it but his was more up-tempo. By slowing it down, Ronstadt was able to inject a haunting feeling of melancholy and deep longing that never fails to move me whenever I hear it.


  1. Francisco Bacopa says

    I love Linda but I really dislike that song. it got everyone saying “bayou” incorrectly, mostly people from up north. So many of them moved down here to the Bayou City that the local way of saying it was almost entirely replaced. We were right. We are from where the bayous are, so the way we say it is correct.

    At Least Creedence Clearwater Revival got it almost right in “Born on the Bayou”.

    Sad to hear about Linda. I really love the Trio albums she did with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.

  2. left0ver1under says

    Precious few singers in the rock and pop era can be compared to the greatest singers of the jazz era. Linda Ronstadt is on a very short list (along with Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Alison Moyet and very few others) who can be seriously mentioned in the same breath as Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Lena Horne or Dinah Washington.

    Ronstadt sounded as good live as she did in the studio, never needing auto-tuning or any technical crap like that. Regardless of what style of music people like (or dislike), I’ve met few people who couldn’t enjoy her “Greatest Hits” album of 1976. The production and instrumentation are clean and simple, allowing her voice to shine and carry the songs.

    And on a side note, Ronstadt has always been on the right side (the correct and progressive side) of political issues such as gay rights and the illegal wars. She speaks out publicly and on stage, willing to lose fans because of it.

  3. DonDueed says

    It’s not really fair to blame Ronstadt for the pronunciation of “bayou” in the song. She didn’t write it (Roy Orbison did, with a co-writer), and the word “bayou” is rhymed in various places and can’t be pronounced differently.

    Blame her for making the song popular, if you must, but not for the way she pronounced it.

  4. MNb says

    “can be compared”
    Which standards do you use? Your personal preferences? If you don’t exactly understand what I’m writing about consider this:

    “Precious few singers in the jazz era can be compared to the greatest singers of opera.”
    Then drop a few names: Maria Callas, Galina Vishnevskaya, Cristina Deutekom, Kathleen Ferrier, Jessye Norman, Joan Sutherland, Kiri te Kanawa and ask yourself: what exactly does this mean?

  5. Mano Singham says

    How should it be pronounced? The way she did it is the only way that I have heard it. After reading your post, I went and listened to Jambalaya sung by the The Mudbugs Cajun and Zydeco Band and it sounded almost the same to me except that I could hear them say ‘Buy-o’ while Ronstadt says ‘Buy-oo’. Is that the difference?

  6. shanti rasiah says

    This is one of my all times favourites and the way she sings it is so moving. Superb singing
    and the words are simple and clear and we can never tire of hearing them.The singers today
    sing songs which seem to have no meaning at all with the same beat that we don’t even want
    to know the title or who the singer is. May be it is the generation gap but the new songs come like
    a flash and go out as quickly unlike ‘Blue bayou”

    Sad to hear that she has parkinsons as she seems still too young to get such an illness

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