Linda Ronstadt Biopic “The Sound of My Voice” On The Way
In a curiously under-reported story, country music music icon and now Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Linda Ronstadt is the subject of an upcoming documentary biopic directed by two award-winning filmmakers that will be making its worldwide debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 26th. Called The Sound of My Voice, the title is an abbreviation for the song “Still Within The Sound of My Voice” which was written by Jimmy Webb, and was a hit for Glen Campbell in 1987 before Linda Ronstadt recorded it in 1989.
Starring Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris, Don Henley, Aaron Neville, Dolly Parton, and Bonnie Raitt, The Sound of My Voice is said to include rare photos from Ronstadt’s childhood in Tucson, Arizona, and archival footage from many of her most iconic performances. Linda Ronstadt helps narrate the film, which covers her life up until her retirement from performing due to Parkinson’s Disease in 2011.
The film was directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman from Telling Pictures. Epstein has won two Academy Awards for his work directing documentaries previously (Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, and The Times of Harvey Milk), and Jeffry Friedman was nominated for an Academy Award for the Netflix short documentary End Game. The Linda Ronstadt documentary was produced by James Keach, Michele Farinola, Rob Epstein, and Jeffrey Friedman, and is being distributed by CNN Films, meaning it may air on the cable news network in the future, though no timetable for its release to the public has been revealed.
The 95-minute Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice is scheduled to be premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, 4/26 at the Stella Artois Theatre, with Sheryl Crow performing after the screening in tribute to Ronstadt. Additional screenings are being held Saturday (4-27), and Monday (4-29) as part of the festival.
Linda Ronstadt began her music career in country music, covering many classic country songs on her early albums, and earning three #1 albums in the genre in the 70’s, as well as a Grammy Award. She also participated in the award-winning supergroup called Trio with Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton, who both appear in The Sound of My Voice. Trio landed Linda her second country music Grammy in 1987. More information on the new film when it becomes available.
reasonable mainstream country fan
April 21, 2019 @ 1:38 pm
This sounds great! Nik Venet, a Mike Nesmith tune and a barefoot girl in a band named from a Charley Patton song.
King Honky Of Crackershire
April 21, 2019 @ 2:02 pm
This will be literally the greatest movie ever. I can’t wait to see it.
April 22, 2019 @ 8:54 pm
You weren’t asked to only leave positive comments. You were asked to contribute to the conversation instead of trainwrecking it. This reverse trolling won’t be tolerated either.
April 21, 2019 @ 3:45 pm
April 22, 2019 @ 8:59 am
Thank you sounds great instead of nasty like az
April 21, 2019 @ 5:25 pm
Just so that the picture can be hung straight, so to speak:
Though like everyone else I haven’t seen any previews for it yet, I wouldn’t count on anything salacious being told about any “dissolute” lifestyle Linda supposedly led. Though she likely will admit to having used marijuana and even cocaine back in the day, she obviously never got so addicted to them that she died prematurely like so many friends she knew back then. Linda did have some particularly hair-raising experiences being an opening act, like she was for Jim Morrison and the Doors in 1968 (since Morrison was often so loaded on booze and behaved like a complete monster in her presence). And she was never wholly comfortable having to hold her own onstage, being forever devastatingly shy in front of tens of thousands, though you wouldn’t know it, given the power and focus of her voice, and the impact it had on generations of inspiring female singers, including many in the female country explosion of the 1990s.
In the post about the interview Linda gave to Rolling Stone back in February, promoting her live album LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD, where she called modern country music “Midwest mall crawler music”, I mentioned that Linda’s qualms about country, which were already more than a decade and a half old at the time of this most recent interview, were that country radio, in her opinion, no longer respected either the traditional sounds she had grown up with in her home state of Arizona or the progressive values she espoused in her own career. What I meant by that is that she knew that country music could remain true to its roots, but remain relevant by introducing approaches informed by the folk and folk-rock movements of the 1960s. She was never going to be another Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette, and she knew that, as did her “Trio” pals, and later legendary women like Trisha Yearwood. Linda was her own woman, first and foremost, which is why I don’t think it is hyperbolic to put her up there with Elvis or the Beatles.
April 21, 2019 @ 5:30 pm
I love Linda, but your last sentence is preposterous.
April 22, 2019 @ 6:44 am
Yes, now that i consider it, the last part of what i said IS hyperbolic. For a lot of her fellow female artists, though, Linda is up in some rarefied company.
April 22, 2019 @ 7:36 am
April 22, 2019 @ 8:32 am
I think it’s a fair statement in limited context. Her influence on the following generations of female country singers is similar to the influence the Beatles and Elvis had on pop music in general.
January 9, 2020 @ 6:23 pm
Don’t know if any of you are familiar with a folk/country artist Louise Mosrie, but at a performance she gave when I talked with her between sets she almost mentioned that Linda was one of her musical heroes.
April 25, 2019 @ 8:27 pm
Erik North, since I was never a huge Elvis fan (a little too young) I agree with that part of your statement. In my opinion, The Beatles are like Beethoven or Mozart. Their music will still be listened to in two to 300 years.
That said, Linda’s voice was like an angel’s. I miss her beautiful voice, as much as I still miss John Lennon after all these decades. I’m so happy that I was able to see her in concert several times over the years.
And Adam Hughes, dang dude, that was so touching.
Hasten Down the Wind and Simple Dreams. Unreal.
April 27, 2019 @ 7:37 am
Thanks Darlene. Words flow easily when inspired of such rare talent. May we all live to outlast such things as mortality. Centuries beyond our time but not easily forgotten.
April 21, 2019 @ 7:03 pm
Her ‘Heart Like a Wheel’ album is a classic!
April 22, 2019 @ 12:32 pm
Wore it out listening. One of the greatest. Not one bad song.
April 24, 2019 @ 10:17 pm
I wore out Hasten Down the Wind — my first year in college. I was lucky to see her perform live a few times in Los Angeles. She is my favorite singer of all time. Loved her autobiography.
April 21, 2019 @ 7:48 pm
She is certainly under-recognized and deserves any belated accolades that may come her way. Who else in the history of music has had a career in which they’ve achieved success in so many dimensions: country, rock, new-wave rock, American Classic, Opera, and ethnic (ie. – her Spanish work). Really there is no one who has even come close! She’s an incredible talent!
April 21, 2019 @ 7:59 pm
Don’t over think it. Just listen. Gorgeous important pipes. Warmth, tenderness and power. A champion of musicians and songwriters. Deep interesting musical chops – no one else had her vibe. Luv her…
April 21, 2019 @ 10:33 pm
Linda Ronstadt is really on a pedestal on her own.There is nobody in popular song that can match her. NOBODY.
April 21, 2019 @ 10:42 pm
Hey . . . wait, what ?!!
April 22, 2019 @ 2:51 am
A truly wonderfull & amazing voice.
April 22, 2019 @ 3:32 am
I love her voice….I love her look….I love her passion….I love her…..
April 22, 2019 @ 3:45 am
Not sure where this piece is leading but Linda Ronstadt stands alone as an artist who was able to blend her old-time influences with a soulful interpretation that stamped her among the best of what any genre of music has had to offer. Era aside, her music transcends her place in time so no need for any comparisons amongst the current crop. Good music is, simply, good music so be sure to load her in the player whenever inspiration strikes. I for one, shall never grow tired of that beautiful voice. May light shine upon her in her hour of need.
April 22, 2019 @ 4:54 am
Lost me at Sheryl Crow.
April 22, 2019 @ 7:24 am
I am very excited for this!
April 22, 2019 @ 8:23 am
While working in Austin radio during the 1980’s, I was able to see Linda in concert at the Erwin Center. What an incredible voice, who put her all into the show.
Joe L Reyna
April 22, 2019 @ 8:45 am
She will forever be remembered as the greatest of the great ijn all types of music.
April 22, 2019 @ 8:58 am
Always always enjoyed Linda’s voice. all the different kinds Of music that she sang Bought album that they put out up from Hollywood . It is awesome.
I watched her interview not too long ago I believe it was on CBS Sunday morning and her voice has even changed even Speech is some what hampered, but what a legacy this woman has left! Country pop rock opera, I am an avid Barbra Streisand fan but next to Barbara there’s Linda.
I hope to see that movie but I cannot get to the city on those days.
April 22, 2019 @ 9:18 am
Truly one of the greatest! If I have one real regret after 74 years it’s that I never got to see her live I’m sure her concert was electrifying. And don’t forget have there been no Linda Ronstadt there would have been no Eagles.
April 22, 2019 @ 10:21 am
Two of the three Premier Screenings are sold out. LINDA is special – her critics should be flogged. As clear as a bell and man could her voice stand up to the boys in the band. Electric, Acoustic, Steel Pedal or an Accordion in a club or arena just vocally glorious.
April 22, 2019 @ 3:05 pm
Beautiful woman ❤️
April 22, 2019 @ 4:59 pm
Linda was the best at one time,, she got started with the eagles back in the day,,,so beautiful and original, organic, the real deal!! I’ve been cheated was her first hit 1974,,, I would sing to it, and still do to this day, a timeless classic, tho she’s sick now, I wish her well,, I love you love Linda,, ❤️
April 23, 2019 @ 9:57 am
The film is very good, but not at all scandalous or even very revealing. Lots of old interviews.
Ed Mac Kinnon
April 23, 2019 @ 5:27 pm
The greatest female singer of all time. First woman to sell out arenas. Amazing taste when picking musicians for her band. Henley,Frey,Waddy Wachtel,Andrew Gold to name just a few. Not to mention the versatility to excel at any genre. Her music got me through my angst ridden teen years in the seventies. Never gets the credit she deserves
April 23, 2019 @ 8:13 pm
I’ve been smitten ever since she sang barefoot on the Johnny Cash show in 1969. I just wish she could still sing. Her new album is fantastic.
April 27, 2019 @ 11:42 am
Barefoot? Honey, June made her put some some underwear!
April 24, 2019 @ 9:00 pm
Thanks for including an article on this. I hadn’t heard about it elsewhere.
It was interesting to read the discussion about her significance as an artist. While I don’t think the potentially hyperbolic statement was completely indefensible, I agree with dialing it back a little or putting it in context. It’s easy to think of Elvis and The Beatles in terms of total albums sold or universal recognition. By those measures, the statement seems outlandish. But, for having an influence on the direction of a genre or the inclusion of artists different from its mainstream, it makes more sense.
Will keep an eye out for this. It may be one of those things I eventually see on the AXS channel.
By the way, for Trigger’s consideration for another article…a seemingly bland topic (but possibly a fire starter for nerds or people really defensive about their State): Georgia Public TV is pathetic compared to SC or Virginia. I was reminded of this during travel in February. I could see this biopic eventually airing on SCETV or WETA. We can’t even get Austin City Limits on GPB. It’s the same psuedo-informercials. At least the PBS Kids programming is there. In SC for a week, I caught the Americana Music Association awards show (a few times), Bluegrass Underground, and Austin City Limits. Okay, I watched all of those a few times.
I’m surprised I’ve even heard about the Ken Burns Country Music series. Only caught the Dylan “No Direction Home” documentary on AXS. (Ironically, I have had a promotional poster proof of it framed and in our house for years.)
April 26, 2019 @ 5:41 am
This music of my childhood. I agree that she stands alone among female singers and don’t know that many artists encapsulate a time for us 70s and 80s kids like she did. Looking forward to this.
April 29, 2019 @ 5:13 am
She called Jerry Brown “cheap”. Gotta love her for that. She is the archetype for female vocalists- powerful lows, crystal clear highs and range( listen to Blue Bayou ) with exquisite taste in song selection. I also like to point out that she, like many other artists, revived her flagging career by mining the Motown catalog. She was a product of the 70’s and certainly cocaine, speed, whatever was cool at the time, was involved. She was not naturally svelt. Her sleek physique as captured on a few alblum covers was the result of drug use, I’m certain of that. Fortunetly, she knew when to back off the chemicals before inflicting permanent harm on herself. Respect.
April 29, 2019 @ 10:23 am
Linda had a terrific way of moving her hips and swaying with her music… Great Music & Very Great Hips ~ Yeow @
April 29, 2019 @ 8:09 pm
She made our generation special. An amazing talent. She doesn’t just sing, she has a total understanding of what the song is saying and she locks in the best way to convey every word. Sometimes gentle, sometimes strong, she uses both to their best advantage with the power and understanding to back it up. That’s why I always appreciated her music.
May 18, 2019 @ 11:20 am
Her onstage outburst in Las Vegas ten years ago concerning Christians and Republicans just queered the whole deal for me. Linda was born with a voice and a brain. You cannot say she did not develop her talent with that same mind. Much as the engineering of modern weaponry may be exquisite in design, her utterances left me wishing for the relative beauty of silence. Go Linda, go be great beneath the vision of your modern day heroes. But consider my erstwhile love of your “how” now ripped away and destroyed by the revelation of your “who”.