Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice

This is a documentary that should be considered for an Oscar nomination.

Linda RonstadtDirected by Jeffery Friedman and Robert Epstein, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice allows the movie audience to rediscover the importance of our recent past. Though Ms. Ronstadt did not participate in being personally interviewed for this film, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Don Henley and Glen Frey appear to help all of us again experience the joy of Ms. Ronstadt’s beautiful voice.

Ms. Ronstadt’s entire life is covered in this film, which stretches from birth on the Mexican border to her Parkinson’s disease which robbed her ability to sing in 2009. As you watch her grow up in a family with a rich Mexican heritage, you see her depart for L.A. to pursue a career. In the process, she begins her recording with a group known as Stone Ponies only to be forced to explore recording as a solo artist.

In the process, you watch her appear on TV as a guest on shows hosted by Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett and Johnny Cash. For all of her accomplishments, nothing will bring a wider smile to your face then the moments she sings with The Muppets on one of their shows.

Ms. Ronstadt did not hide her political support on a wide variety of topics ranging from opposing nuclear war to trying to help immigrants be fairly treated long before Donald Trump became president. She further became a pioneer in a music industry dominated by men. Nearly all of the band members for all female singers were male, and she had to survive on her dedication and professional instincts. Furthermore, many of you remember her relationship with Jerry Brown, soon to be Governor in California. She is one of the few female national figures never to get married.

Ms. Ronstadt had a wide range of singing interests that covered everything from folk rock, country music and the moment that she recorded an album entirely in Spanish. On top of that, she also appeared on Broadway where she became an elite singer in The Pirates of Penzance, proving that she was an impossible woman to fit into any particular category.

The most powerful moments of this film flow from watching Ms. Ronstadt sing such beloved songs as “You’re No Good (1974),” “Blue Bayou (1977),” “When Will I Be Loved (1974),” and “Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me (1977).” In addition, there are memorable moments when you watch her sing with Ms. Parton and Emmylou Harris, not to mention Aaron Neville. While she began her career with Don Henley as her drummer, he soon left to pursue a career with a group known as The Eagles.

This is a heartwarming movie that you should really take the time to see. She asked for no pity given that she was robbed of her ability to sing, seeking only to live quietly as she relishes her past where we all benefit from her magnificent singing voice to this very day.