Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice | Chicago Reader

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice

In advance of Linda Ronstadt’s 2019 Kennedy Center honor, the Mexican American singer is the subject of this documentary that explores her musical beginnings in Tucson, her rise out of LA’s folk-rock scene into international stardom, and her 2009 retirement following a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. As her friend and Trio collaborator Dolly Parton said, “Linda could literally sing anything,” and for over a half century, she did just that, applying her versatile vocal chops to rock ’n’ roll, folk, country, R&B, mariachi, jazz standards, musical theater, and other styles and finding success with practically every turn (she has 13 platinum albums to date). The film successfully paints Ronstadt as a whip-smart, boundary-breaking artist who champions traditionally marginalized voices in the industry and values music and loved ones over careerism and fame (it’s hard not to leave imagining she’d make a great BFF!). But it shys away from critically evaluating her accomplishments while portraying her as somewhat forgotten in today’s music scene, which seems a tad unfair, as there are plenty of contemporary country, folk-rock artists, and other musicians who could easily chime in on her lasting influence.

Credits

Director:

  • Jeffrey Friedman

Cast:

  • Jackson Browne
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Don Henley
  • Aaron Neville
  • Dolly Parton
  • Bonnie Raitt

Producers:

  • Alex Exline
  • Amy Entelis
  • Courtney Sexton
  • Gabriel Caste
  • James Keach
  • Jeffrey Friedman
  • Michele Farinola
  • Rob Epstein

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