Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, a new documentary that looks at the life and career of the celebrated singer before Parkinson’s disease forced her retirement, opened wide in theaters last Friday.
Co-directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the film includes new interviews with Linda Ronstadt and famous friends and collaborators including Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Aaron Neville, Bonnie Raitt, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.
“The film really tells the story of her musical journey, which spanned decades,” Epstein explains to ABC Radio. “And she conquered rock and folk and country, and then moved on to ballads…standards…opera, Broadway, mariachi.”
Friedman notes, “A large part of the story we tell is her venturing into new genres, and her record companies and her management urging her not to do that, telling her it’s gonna ruin her career.”
Amazingly, these risks usually paid off, as exemplified by the platinum-selling standards albums and traditional Mexican music collection Ronstadt released during the 1980s.
As for what Freidman hopes the film accomplishes, he tells ABC Radio, “I hope viewers will…see a successful pop star who did not care about celebrity or fame or…even success. This was a woman who really cared about art and her music making something beautiful.”
The doc includes a dramatic scene showing Ronstadt, her voice in a weakened state, singing a Mexican folk song with family members. Epstein notes that Linda was OK with the segment because she felt it “would be a way to acknowledge that she does have Parkinson’s and what her limitations are, but that she is still very engaged and living a full life, and still pursuing all of her passions, which includes music and, most especially, family.”
Visit LindaRonstadtMovie.com for more information about the film.
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