1970 Linda Ronstadt – Long, Long Time
Linda Ronstadt grew up on a ranch in Tucson, Arizona. She began singing professionally in the mid-sixties, singing folk and country music. She and her friend, bass-player Bobby Kimmel, formed a folk group with Linda’s older brother and sister.
When Bobby moved to LA, he convinced Linda to join him there. Guitarist Kenny Edwards joined them to create the trio Stone Poneys. The group began playing in local clubs, with Linda appearing in a miniskirt and bare feet.
The band briefly broke up, but after they reformed, a single performance at the Troubadour led to a three album contract with Capitol Records. Bobby wrote most of the songs on their first two albums, but it was a cover of a song written by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees that led to their biggest hit, Different Drum. The single peaked at #13 in 1967.
The single got recorded without Bobby or Kenny and the label included the notation “Featuring Linda Ronstadt” after the band’s name. It was increasingly clear that Capitol Records wanted Linda as a solo artist. Even though the single began climbing the charts, Kenny chose to leave the group and pursue a solo career.
Linda and Bobby hired some backup musicians for one final tour, but not even another song written by Mike could put them back on the charts. They chose to disband the Stone Poneys completely. Linda pursued a solo career while Bobby settled in Santa Monica, California, and headed up the concert programs at McCabe’s Guitar Shop.
Linda began work on a solo career, but it took two albums and three years before she reached the charts again. In 1970, she released the single Long, Long Time.
Linda’s record peaked at only #25 on the Hot 100 and #20 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. She still got nominated for the Grammy Award for the Best Contemporary Female Vocalist for her performance on the song; Dionne Warwick took the Grammy that year for her single I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.
It would be a long four years before Linda again reached the top forty on the Hot 100, although she did have a few hits on the Country chart. She began working with Kenny again and created one of her most successful albums, Heart Like A Wheel. The album contained two important singles: I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You) reached #2 on the Country chart in 1974 and You’re No Good topped the Hot 100 in early 1975..
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