Celebrating Seniors - Linda Ronstadt Turns 69 - Pt 4of5

Linda Ronstadt - Diversification in the 80's

Enjoy this 5-part series celebrating Linda's 69th birthday this week on July 15 . Part Four - vintage music videos from her career 1984-1989: Skylark, When You Wish Upon A Star, Those Memories of You, Somewhere Out There, Dreams to Dream

Baby boomer Linda's love life was (once again) complex in 1984. She and Jerry Brown had ended their romantic relationship in 1983. A March People magazine article that year related that she had begun dating recently-separated George Lucas in December 1983, after breaking off with actor/comedian Jim Carrey (he was 22, she was 37). 

In a 1980 interview with Jean Vallely for Playboy magazine, Ronstadt had this to say:

"I adore men. God. I love to flirt. Flirting isn't necessarily based on offering yourself in a sexual way. I hope I'm flirting when I'm 80. I just love real vibrant older women who don't deny their sexuality but who also don't try to act like it should assume a place in their lives that is inappropriate to their age. That's a fine line to walk...I've never seriously considered marrying anybody so far. But I've gotten some interesting proposals."

Having left her folk, rock and country music songs (mostly if only temporarily) behind her, Linda Ronstadt's hit singles started dwindling in the latter part of the 1980's, but she did manage a few more hits from her 1984 Lush Life album recorded with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, including Skylark, written by Johnny Mercer, a #12 US Adult Contemporary charts hit (below).

Linda returned to her Mexican heritage with the 1987 album Canciones de Mi Padre, which hit #42 on the Billboard US Album chart, & #4 on the US Latin Album chart. She won a 1988 Grammy Award for Best Mexican-American Performance, and it became the biggest-selling non-English-language album in U.S. music history (at that time).

Her next appearance on the Billboard charts was When You Wish Upon a Star, written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington, from her 1986 Sentimental Reasons album; it went to #32 on the US Adult Contemporary charts. Below, a television appearance and performance of When You Wish Upon a Star:

Linda Ronstadt returned to her country roots with the ten-years-in-the making Trio album, a collaboration with longtime friends Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton released in 1987. The album was popular with her baby boomer and more mature, senior fans alike. She won a 1987 Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The Phil Spector-penned single To Know Him Is To Love Him was a Billboard #1 US Country hit from that album, performed by Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, and Emmylou Harris. Also from Trio, a Billboard #3 US Country hit single, Telling Me Lies, written by Linda Thompson and Betsy Cook.

From the Dolly Parton Show in 1987, Billboard #5 US Country hit single, Those Memories of You, written by Alan O'Bryant. Linda Ronstadt singing with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris:

In 1986 Linda collaborated with James Ingram to record the duet Somewhere Out There written by James Horner, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil for the animated movie An American Tail. The song won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year. Below, Linda and James singing Somewhere Out There:

The sequel movie An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, featured the song Dreams to Dream, written by James Horner and Will Jennings, was also sung by Linda Ronstadt - giving her a 1991 Billboard #13 US Adult Contemporary Hit.


Linda Ronstadt Part Five - Motherhood & Parkinson's - 1990 to Today


Linda Ronstadt Part One - Country and Rock Beginnings 1965-1974

Linda Ronstadt Part Two - Pop, Rock and Country Queen 1975-1978

Linda Ronstadt Part Three - The Jerry Brown Years 1979-1983

Anita Hamilton

50+ World editor & baby boomer writer Anita Hamilton has always been interested in the "real people" stories behind the characters that create and inhabit the world of music, books, movies, television shows, current events, history, etc. A lifelong love of research (ok, nosiness) and writing, combined with a loving and supportive family complete with 3 mini-dachshund minions, keeps her busy.

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