The Legends: Linda Ronstadt
Despite a successful career spanning multiple decades, Linda Ronstadt still encountered resistance from the music industry when she decided to make a Spanish language album. Watch LATIN MUSIC USA Friday, April 28 and Friday, May 5 at 9/8C on PBS (check local listings).
("Los Laureles" plays)
SMITS: Linda Ronstadt, the best-selling
female rocker of the 1970s,
also confounded the pop music establishment,
recording an all-Spanish language album.
♪ Ay... que laureles tan verdes ♪
She's a Tucson girl and she's a Mexican-American girl,
but we don't know that through her successes
in her early recordings.
♪ You're no good, you're no good ♪
♪ You're no good, baby, you're no good ♪
♪ I'm gonna say it again
LINDA RONSTADT: When I left home, I was 17.
And I was kind of hoping that the musicians
that I'd met over in LA, that I was gonna form
a little band with, The Stone Ponies, that they would,
we could maybe make a record in Spanish.
Because after all, Ritchie Valens
had had a hit with "La Bamba."
But the record company didn't like that idea.
My father's side of the family,
when they got together, they sang in Spanish.
Someone would start a song somewhere.
Someone would have a guitar and start to plunk out a few chords.
And the songs would start and they were these
beautiful, beautiful old songs.
♪ Tierra del sol
♪ Suspiro por verte
♪ Y ahora que lejos yo vivo sin luz, sin amor ♪
♪ Y al verme tan sola y triste ♪
♪ Cual hoja al viento quisiera llorar ♪
♪ Quisiera morir de sentimiento. ♪
♪ Shut the light
♪ Shut the shade
SMITS: After 20 years as a pop star,
Ronstadt had enough clout in the industry
to fulfill her dream:
A Spanish-language album based on songs from her childhood.
RONSTADT: "Who was going to buy this record?"
is what the record company said to me.
"I don't know," I said.
I just couldn't hear that.
The music was screaming in my ears, and that was that.
♪ Tierra del sol...
♪ Suspiro por verte
RONSTADT: I had to go back and find that little girl
that was falling asleep in the uncle and aunts' laps
hearing that mixture of Spanish and English.
'Cause that's really who I was first
before I became a pop star, whatever that,
all that craziness that went on in the '70s, you know,
in the '60s and the '80s. It was just nutty.
Making that record just helped cement
my personality back together again.
♪ De sentimiento...
Ronstadt's 1987 release, Canciones de Mi Padre--
"Songs of My Father," became the best-selling
non-English language album to date in U.S. history.