Rock Hall and Linda Ronstadt marching to a different drum

Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt, one of the most popular and versatile artists of the Rock & Roll era, has yet to hear from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

 

(No. 17 in a continuing series on artists who should be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but are not)

By Phill Marder

She has been called the “Queen of Rock.“

She has been called “The First Lady Of Rock.“

She has earned 11 Grammys, two Academy Of Country Music awards, an Emmy, an American Latino Media Arts award and she has received Tony and Golden Globe nominations.

She ranked No. 1 female singles seller in 1975 and 1977.

Combining albums and singles, she is one of the highest ranking artists in the history of recorded music.

All told, she has posted 38 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching the top 10 on 10 different occasions, No. 2 three times and the top spot once. On the Billboard top album charts, she has 36 entries, including 10 that reached the top 10 and three that hit No. 1.

She has reached the UK top 40 with five albums and three singles, including a No. 2 single in 1989.

Between 1969 and 1994 she has had 20 singles reach the Canadian top 40, including two that peaked at No. 2 and two that reached No. 1, and nine top 20 LPs, including the “Trio” album, which hit No. 4, and “Simple Dreams,” which topped the Canadian charts.

On the Country charts, she has had solo albums and a single reach No. 1 in addition to a No. 1 collaboration with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.

She is considered the first female solo artist popular enough to pack large concert arenas.

She was named top female artist of the 70s by Cash Box magazine.

She was the first female to have three consecutive platinum albums and her “Living In The USA” became the first album to ship double platinum. In addition, her “Canciones De Mi Padre” is the best selling non-English language album in United States history.

YET SHE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO GET EVEN A NOMINATION FROM THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME!!!

This has to be some kind of sick joke.

She is, of course, Linda Ronstadt.

Linda Ronstadt

Linda Ronstadt is a great singer. Pitch perfect, she lets the song be the avenue of pleasure, enhancing it not swamping it. Whitney Houston once bragged how she sang the *#$! out of “I Will Always Love You.” She did. That’s why Ronstadt’s version is so much better. She showed off the song, not how many notes she can hit.

There’s no better ballad singer than Linda Ronstadt and she has more than held her own on hard rocking material, from classic to punk. In addition, Ronstadt has been a major force in Country music and she also has recorded albums of standards, Mexican favorites, rock classics as lullabies, cajun and jazz offerings and Christmas favorites.

With that said, it’s a puzzle that Ronstadt has been ignored so far, though maybe her abandonment of Rock has a lot to do with it as she spread her wings to embrace recordings outside the world of Rock. It’s Ironic that artists who maintain the status quo are criticized for not growing musically, while those who do branch out are criticized for abandoning Rock.

Still, from 1967 when she first broke onto the scene with The Stone Poneys until 1983 when she began to branch out with Nelson Riddle, Ronstadt fairly dominated the charts with tasteful covers of everyone from Betty Everett to Billy Joe Royal. To further add to her credentials, Ronstadt sang backup on Neil Young’s two biggest hits, “Heart Of Gold” and “Old Man,” Andrew Gold’s No. 7 “Lonely Boy,” and Warren Zevon’s “Excitable Boy” and many others. And, in 1971, her touring band was Bernie Leadon, Glen Frey, Randy Meisner and Don Henley, who did fairly well as The Eagles after polishing their chops behind Ronstadt.

Perhaps Ronstadt has been shunned because she’s been outspoken on different topics. For instance, take this quote on the Ramones: “I couldn’t understand the words. I like power but it has to have some intelligence. This was so constricted I would call it hemorrhoid music.“

The Ramones are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, by the way.

“I didn’t set out to be a star, said Ronstadt. “I don’t think of myself as a star. I set out to become a singer. I would have sung no matter what. I finally learned how to sing. It’s too bad I had to do all my learning in public.”

On critics, Ronstadt has said, “I’m tired of being victimized by people who are dedicated to a snappy phrase.”

Well, I’m not dedicated to a snappy phrase. I just like music. And, obviously, I’m not alone in my admiration for Ronstadt. It’s time for those responsible for who gets nominated and who gets inducted to start studying those who are eligible. The joke has worn very, very thin.

136 thoughts on “Rock Hall and Linda Ronstadt marching to a different drum

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Phill. The fact that Ronstadt has not even been given the respect of a nomination is incredible. And when you consider that everyone around her — the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac — have been inducted, her omission becomes even more glaring.

    People have put forward the idea that it’s because Ronstadt didn’t write her own material (not entirely true, by the way; two of her songs have been covered by Trisha Yearwood and Sarah Brightman), but neither did Dusty Springfield, or Aretha Franklin or Elvis Presley to any greater extent than Linda did.

    I would add to your cogent outline of her accomplishments the fact that her interpretations renewed and revived interest in the songs of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and Roy Orbison, just to name a few, in a time when there were no “oldies” stations or even “classic rock” stations to bring them to a new audience.

    Further, she was a champion of many influential songwriters, including Randy Newman, Warren Zevon and Neil Young. And when she sings a Jimmy Webb song, it remains sung.

    Her influence has been wide, acknowledged by Sheryl Crow, k.d. lang, Trisha Yearwood, Caitlin Rose, and many others.

    Finally, Linda Ronstadt is truly an American singer, a self-proclaimed product of American radio, who, in her youth, absorbed the myriad influences of the many types of music that was found on the AM dial: rock, soul, country, folk and filtered them through her own Mexican-American heritage and made them distinctly her own through the power of her amazing voice. Her eclecticism is our eclecticism, i.e., America’s melting pot.

  2. What a great post! Couldn’t agree with you more, except by now, the RnR Hof is a sham to me.

  3. Besides everything else mentioned here, she has had a profound influence on as many as four generations of female singers, ranging from good pals like Nicolette Larson to more recent roots-rock women like Sheryl Crow, and rock-oriented country singers like Trisha Yearwood and Rosanne Cash. With this fanbase inside the business as large as it is, the lack of her name in the Hall of Fame is beyond disgusting (IMHO).

  4. great article and I cannot agree more, it is laughable that Ronstadt has not even been nominated let alone been inducted. Ronstadts history speaks for itself and she is without a doubt one of the best in any genre of music and her contributions and body of work cannot be ignored.

  5. Forget about all the usual arguments about her induction. Her hits were mostly covers (so what, the same can be said of several current inductees and the hits were only a fraction of her output). She abandoned rock by going on to sing standards (who isn’t doing that nowadays?), yada yada.
    Between 1975 and 1980 if you were to ask the average person who represented females in rock music, most people would answer “Linda Ronstadt”. Not Donna Summer, that was Disco. Induct Linda NOW!!!!!

  6. Dear Linda Ronstadt fans -

    Thanks for all the great responses. However, it is somewhat embarrassing when the readers write better than I do !!

    Phill

  7. Phil- while I agree with some of the snubs you mention, I must remind that commercial success/hitmaking is not one of the main considerations for induction. Yes, a number of inductees had great commercial success, but it is not what got them considered- and eventually inducted- into the Rock Hall. So, talking about how many hits one has had or how many albums one has sold really has no bearing on the process. Look how long Neil Diamond had to wait, after all (22 years).

  8. JimmyR -

    I’m well aware commercial success is not one of the main considerations for induction. That’s my point. It should be. It’s supposed to be the Hall of Fame, not the Sanctuary for the Obscure. Why should someone such as Neil Diamond have to wait 22 days let alone 22 years?

    Phill

  9. Not sure what the voters have against her but clearly there are some powerful few (or 1) that pulls the strings. This is clearly personnal. Fortunately for Ms. Ronstadt she can give 2 sh#$s but unfortunate for the music industry as well as her fans.

    JWS

  10. It seems that the Rock Hall is leaning toward more current artists to attract younger fans to Cleveland. Linda Ronstadt dominated the landscape near the end of the road for radio, for record companies, and for mass listening audiences. It must be hard to attract new fans to the hall while maintaining a focus on lifetime contributions by artists – so few of them are performing now, radio doesn’t play them and they don’t get the exposure. Rock radio plays the same two or three songs by every artist, and that doesn’t display the scope of an artist like Ronstadt to the casual listener. The whole problem comes down to the Rock Hall not wanting to nominate people who won’t come to the ceremony, won’t put on a show, and aren’t going to attract new attendees. They want the flash. They don’t want Linda. Is it right? No, but it’s understandable.

  11. It was 1989, if I remember correctly, when Chuck Berry was celebrating his 60th birthday with a Rock ‘n’ Roll concert. The live show was then released on CD and Videotape (there were not DVDs yet)…I am talking about “Hail Hail Rock ‘n’ roll”. Ronstadt was, together with another legend…Etta James, the Rock ‘n’ Roll diva invited to one of the most important R&R events in Rock’s history (in my opinion it was because I love the 50s and Chuck Berry). This should be enough to highlight how instrumental she was to spread R&R music during the 70s and 80s. Her most classical albums, the ones she released during the 70s, contain excellent examples of her R&R interpretations. Buddy Holly, Paul Anka, Elvis Presley and…of course the greatest of all, Chuck Berry are among the R&R musicians who formed her musical roots. Nowadays a lot of tasteless and commercial pop music is sold like it was “Rock”…and I think that many people don’t even know what Rock music means anymore. The Hall of Fame itself considers Rock ‘n’ Roll music the unbearable crap produced by Madonna (what Rock ‘n’ Roll has got to do with her???), Donna Summer, Abba and other Rock-unrelated-pseudo-musicians…so my question is:
    Is that really worthy or important for a true Rock artist to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? They don’t seem to take seriously what they do…that institution has become just another way of promoting commercially any sort of staff. There are so many great artists who have been excluded for who know what reason. Rock and Roll music has a solid history which cannot be deleted or changed. The great artists, composers, singers and musicians who have contributed to Rock ‘n’ Roll during the last 55 years don’t need to be recognised by any arrogant institution. Rock artists don’t need to be nominated and go through this stupid game to secure a space. Rock ‘n’ Roll, the real one, is well documented by the music that its great artists have recorded for us. Linda Ronstadt is one of the most important female musicians in Rock history and we don’t need any Hall of Fame to prove that, listening to her records will be more than enough.

  12. The judges at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame obviously know nothing about rock and roll. Why does anyone even care what these bozos think?

  13. Any pop, rock, jazz, or country Hall of Fame that does not include Linda Ronstadt as a charter member is a joke and should be dismissed entirely. Her unique voice, her incomparable pitch, her sweet passion, and her deft interpretation of lyrics is a combination that is beyond compare. I was mesmerized by Linda Ronstadt in the 1960s and I saw her in concert in 1978. Nothing I have seen or heard in all the years since the 1960s remotely compares to what she, as an entertainer, has meant to me. I’m 70 now and every night I still go to YouTube to watch and listen to Linda Ronstadt perform my three favorite songs: “Blue Bayou;” “Long Long Time;” and “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.” Often since the 1960s I have hoped to discover another “Linda Ronstadt” but I guess it’s time I give up on what has turned out to be an impossible venture. During a long life, Linda Ronstadt’s unequaled talent has made my life happier than it otherwise would have been. I guess it’s time I thanked her for that.
    (Rich Haney)

  14. Linda should have been chosen for a judge on American Idol. She represents a true American artist. She also should have been given the same for an appearance on the Grammy Awards …i.e. Barbra Sreisand…Aretha Franklin…she is in the top 20 of all time female artists. Her voice outshines them all.

  15. I am a vocalist/composer, unknown, but Linda had a HUGE influence on me. I studied with her coach Judy Davis. Judy wanted me to move to Claremont when I was a kid, I smacked down my money on a room, and then the Oakland fires happened , unreal, decided not to!

    Linda, got my attention after my ear got trained enough to realize that emulating, dear Stevies voice, was not the thing to do! Linda was the basis of all goals, musically and of course, passion for music as well. I can never thank her enough for her influence.

    I went on to be coached for years by Whitney’s original music director, a gospel/soul legend himself, and thank good ness, “oversouling” was not part of the agenda!! How funny I found this link today, I did these this a.m. with a stupid dry computer mic, but you can hear the Linda Love!! for the Fans:

    http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/ba683c004

    http://www.singsnap.com/karaoke/r/be961b5a4

  16. I was reading online about the various artists who have been snubbed by the Hall. I think the article about The Moody Blues was something like the 18th in this series. Does anyone have a list of the other 17 articles and could they share it with me? Three of my all time favorite groups of the 60′s and 70′s should be in these articles – The Zombies, The Guess Who and Three Dog Night. If they are not I would be willing to write articles on their behalf. Any information would be appreciated.

  17. Dear Bill -

    Look at the top of this column & right above the headline you’ll see a pinkish box. Click on “Great Blogs Of Fire” & you’ll find every article in this series, including one on the Guess Who.

    As far as you contributing, there are two problems. One, the groups you list may be on my list for upcoming articles. Two, you may be a better writer than me & I could get replaced.

    But please feel free to contribute your thoughts on any previous articles or ones to come. As I said in this blog’s introduction, this blog welcomes all reader responses, pro or con.

  18. LOVE LOVE LOVE LINDA! Heart Like A Wheel is still one of my favorite albums. Still listen to it.

  19. I agree… But this has been my complaint about that and other lists for awhile… But… they are letting people in who have far less accolades… and are questionable to be there in the first place than people more deserving. Like Linda!

    You Rock Linda.
    This Day In Rock

  20. I don’t understand…is Mr. Marder saying that The Ramones should not be in the RRHOF? If so, is it just because Linda Rondstadt doesn’t think they’re “smart”? Or does he think they should have had to wait until after LR is in? Seems odd to write how little she values critical opinion, and those whose stock-in-trade is the “snappy phrase”, then, in the same article, take LR’s “snappy phrase” as gospel…

    I have a couple of points: first, The Ramones, and other groups of the punk era, whom LR and Mr. Marder may not value, added way more to the history of Rock and Roll than Linda Ronstadt ever has. I do not dislike LR, in fact I love her voice. Her versions of When Will I Be Loved and Blue Bayou are, arguably, the definitive versions.But she was a stylist, and nothing more. A fabulous singer for sure, but if we’re going to compare her to the greatest stylists in Rock history (Elvis Presley being the most obvious example), she comes up a bit short in my opinion. I don’t want to spout on, though, about how Linda Rondstadt compares to other artists. I’d like to make my main point…

    …and that is that Halls of Fame are some of the stupidest things ever created to commemorate anything, and that includes all sports. (Honestly, I wish Pete Rose would wake up and realize that he is not the real loser in the Baseball Hall of Fame’s shunning of him, it’s the BBHOF itself, and the fans of Cinncinnati and Philadelphia who’d like to see a bust of their hero standing in Cooperstown. If the Alltime hits leader is not in the hall of fame, that hall of fame is not worth much, IMHO). But it especially holds true for Rock and Roll. How can you quantify an artist’s true contribution to the music? Some artists have long careers, others make an equal contribution in a very short period. And the RRHOF exhibits no rhyme or reason to their selection process. It would seem to me Linda Rondstadt is the perfect candidate for induction to this particular HOF, where ridiculous, nearly MOR artists like The Eagles are inducted long before true innovators like The Stooges or the Sex Pistols. I mean, love ‘em or hate ‘em, The Eagles weren’t really anybody’s definition of true, innovative, dangerous Rock and Roll. I’m sure I could think of a hundred other such examples, but just to show that I am not biased toward punk acts: The Eagles stole their entire original musical course from Gram Parsons…and he’s not in. Does that make sense? And, yes, I would argue that, not only did he innovate “cosmic American music”, but he took it farther and better than The Eagles ever did. Ask Emmylou Harris what she thinks.

    Anyway, my point is: Why not stop arguing over such a silly thing such as induction into the RRHOF? Listen to Linda Rondstadt or The Eagles, if that’s what you like. Stop letting a handful of grandstanding, self-promoting “cultural elitists” (in their minds, anyway) tell you who’s worthy and who’s not. Even just arguing over it justifies, in their minds, what they do. The fact that they hold the induction ceremonies at the Waldorf-Astoria, at a thousands-per-plate dinner, should have been your first clue what a joke it is. Your favorite artists work is self-rewarding. Musicians and athletes do their work on the field and in the studio and on stage. That’s their battleground, and their legacy is what is produced and stands as testament to their greatness. Not what a bunch of dickhead writers say about them long after their careers and/or vitality is long gone.

  21. Dear Gregg -

    I did not say the Ramones should not be in the Hall of Fame. I didn’t even imply such. If the Ramones were not already in the HOF, they may have been part of this series.

    My point was that perhaps some people involved in the HOF don’t like Ronstadt because of some things she said about some of their favored and that some may hold a grudge against her. I’m assuming some of them favor the Ramones since they put them into the HOF and some are writers.

    I didn’t take her comments as gospel, either. At no point did I indicate whether or not I even agree with them, let alone take them as gospel.

    In your second paragraph you write I don’t value the Ramones and other groups of the punk era. I don’t recall writing that, or even writing anything that implies that. I value all music.

    And I value all opinions…yours included.

  22. Phill,

    I believe you…I was truly asking what the intention was, and adding my two cents (sorry if I came across as hostile)…her comment did rub me the wrong way, though, and not just because I love The Ramones (and, as I said, I have room in my love of music for a Linda Rondstadt as well).

    Linda Rondstadt is known for being outspoken and VERY opinionated about a great many issues (as you stated). The Ramones comments, however, were news to me, and I was just wondering if her opinion was endorsed by (you) the writer; I understand that just because you like LR, that doesn’t mean you necessarily agree with any or all of her views, but as we all know, that dividing line between those early 70s California artists and (their fans) and Punk/New Wave artists can seem (just seem) clearly defined, so I wondered if you shared her opinion on The Ramones (who, frankly, I can’t remember hearing many negative comments about, even from “old fart” rockers; it has seemed to me that even they mostly understood that The Ramones in particular were just trying to get back to the source…or they just saw them as harmless and not worth commenting on. I just think Linda fancies herself a little (or a lot) more sophisticated than the rest of us). But as far as punk in general, Jackson Browne and David Crosby, famously, did not “get it”. And it would seem that a fan of one type of music wouldn’t value the other; I don’t believe it is always that way, but it is common. I was just wondering where you were coming from. As far as LR, I stand by my comments; to insinuate (actually, she came out and said it) that the opinions of critics are invalid (as far as she’s concerned anyway?), and then give her own little sound bite on The Ramones seems a tad hypocritical.

    But I do believe, as I said, that Linda Rondstadt would seem like one of the Hall’s perfect candidates. They value length of career (which may have a place in a sports HOF, but has nothing to do with music (and Rock and Roll in particular). But she’s had a long career, much commercial success; she has seemed bland at times in her career (downright adult contemporary, as a matter of fact). I mean, Jackson Browne, CSN, James Taylor, etc. seem to be favored by HOF voters over The Stooges, The Sex Pistols, etc. (in fact, The Clash went in before The Sex Pistols, even though there wasn’t even the idea of starting The Clash until Joe Strummer saw the Pistols. And, even though I love the Clash, The Sex Pistols were much more important…but The Clash had a significantly longer career, so…). So, anyway, I agree with you, that I don’t know what the HOF is thinking as far as Linda Rondstadt. And now I know that you were not agreeing with LR’s opinion on The Ramones…

    Gregg

    p.s. ***If you happen to read this: do yourself a favor and check out the “Troubadors: The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter” if you haven’t already. Sort of along the lines of what I was trying to say here, there’s a passage where James Taylor and Danny Kortchmar comment on Lester Bangs famous article “James Taylor: Marked For Death”. Lester, famously, loved groups like The Troggs, and those ’60s garage bands, and hated the mellow artists coming out of California. Long story short, JT seems to laugh it off, but Danny Kortchmar was visibly upset, 35+ years later; he said basically, that James Taylor would have thrashed Lester bangs…which I thought was a hilarious visual. What a humorless man Kortchmar is! Anyway, I got a kick out of it…

  23. Thanks Gregg & very well put.

    You say “And it would seem that a fan of one type of music wouldn’t value the other” and that is so true. I just don’t get it. People who like just one “kind” of music are missing so much good listening. I may be one of those “old fart rockers,” but believe me I’ve listened to and enjoyed everything from Glenn Miller to the Red Hot Chili Peppers (including the Troggs!).

    Obviously, some things I like better than others, but I seem to have an affinity for almost anything musical. I’m not one of those “dickhead” writers pompous enough to judge the musical efforts of others…just a fan with a keyboard.

  24. If it’s for her singing and talent, yes, she should be in the Hall of Fame! But, maybe people didn’t like the way she was kicked out Las Vegas for trying to campaign for the Democrats during a concert! Some of these entertainers forget the fact that people come to see them perform, not campaign or preach!

  25. I’ve always loved Linda Ronstadt. She’s my all-time favorite female singer. I wish her fame was recognized by the R&R HOF.

    What exactly are the requirements, if any, for induction? It’s a Hall of FAME, after all, and if Ronstadt doesn’t have “Fame”, then who does?

  26. The R&R Hall’s 25-year rule would seem to contradict any rationale for “new young attendees.” Sorry, Mariah Carey isn’t eligible, but at the rate it’s going, she’ll be in Cleveland before LR.
    Suppose a “Jazz Hall Of Fame” inducted Kenny G but eg Charlie Parker or Lester Young was snubbed. It obviously raises questions. I’ve never heard of *any* other HoF of any type that had such a blatant agenda as the R&R HoF.
    A large part of the Elvis legacy is his widespread appeal and ability to crossover to listeners in other genres and different generations. Is there a female singer with a similar legacy? I say yes. Not Shania, not Patsy, not Ella, not Madonna. It’s the one and only Linda Ronstadt.

  27. I THINK LINDA IS AMUSING,AMAZING AND A GREAT SINGER TO BAD SHE IS NOT RECONIZED IN ALL THOSE CATAGORIES.

  28. Good question, Fred. The requirements are 25 years in the business and a bunch of important friends. Fame, evidently, has nothing to do with it.

  29. I COULD’NT AGREE WITH YA’LL MORE.BUT AT LEAST JOAN GOT IN. 10/2000 THEY REALLY OUGHT TOO DO ANOTHER CENSUS ON LINDA THOUGH THEY MIGHT FIND MORE THAT THEY HAD OVERLOOKED BEFORE.

  30. I really don’t understand why this lady isn’t in the HoF. I’ve been listening to her and bought her albums since the early 70′s and she belongs in there more than some of the inductees they already have in there. Just like the Moody Blues, they also belong in there. Maybe there ought to be another Rock Hall, one with the true hall of famers. I think these idiots who make the choosing would put PINK in there before Linda…….

  31. Larry -

    I’ll have to work on our editor. We could start a “Goldmine” Hall of Fame with actual criteria and fan participation. Sounds like fodder for a future “Great Blogs Of Fire” article, huh? What do you think?

  32. @Phil: Maybe the reason Linda Ronstadt hasn’t been inducted into the RRHOF is….because she’s earned 11 Grammys, two Academy Of Country Music awards, an Emmy, an American Latino Media Arts award and she has received Tony and Golden Globe nominations, plus all of the other accolades and personal highs mentioned above?

    With 11 Grammys to her credit alone (more than the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, the Kinks, most of the Motown artists except for Stevie Wonder, the Ramones, the Platters, Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Neil Young, Bobby Darin, Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, Peter Gabriel, and most of all of the artist inducted into the RRHOF in it’s first nineteen years)…this is more than most artists get in a lifetime! I could go on and on with my list, but that would mean having to track down a whole mess of Rolling Stone issues, and I don’t really want to do that.

    Suffice it to say that Linda has had enough awards for her lifetime, more than a ‘singer’ (stylist) like her who has barely written songs of her own even deserved then and now, for her to be inducted into the RRHOF just like that, and on your say-so.

    As for creating Goldmine’s own RRHOF; it might work, but then it would probably be as snobbish as you claim the RRHOF’s staff are.

  33. Neville, you seem to think that Linda doesn’t deserve her accolades because of the few songs she has written. All of her Grammy awards were for “vocalist”- she didn’t win any of them for “writing”— Truth be told, she lost several Grammies that she deserved. The year Bonnie Raitt became a star with “Nick of Time”– Linda’s “Cry Like a Rainstorm” was a much stronger album- and it did manage to eke out three lesser Grammy categories. I suppose NARAS at that time sort of took Linda’s vocal talents for granted, and felt it was time to honor the talented underdog– the underdog who ended up in the Hall of Fame. Too bad you think only writers deserve awards.

  34. Well, the fact that Metallica and Alice Cooper, who have but a hit between them- and have contributed nothing of value to the discussion- are in the Hall and Ronstadt isn’t says all we need to say about the Hall. Based on what they’ve given the world, Bobby “Boris” Pickett belongs on the wall before Copper. And, unless I missed his induction, the weirdly underrated Johnny Rivers has yet to get the call. If it’s talent that keeps you out, Ronstadt will never get in.

  35. Kevin -

    Johnny Rivers has not been inducted, but was on my original Goldmine list 11 years ago. Keep reading, he’ll be coming up soon.

  36. Linda is the Queen of the Rodeo. Her songs, her expression and her sexuality clearly is the singing of the White Goddess. ‘Different Drum’ while it was only one song was as meaningful to we Sixties children as the Mamas and the Papas. That song was a rennaisance of AM radio. No modern woman sings with her wild range and sad sincerity. Linda added an American sensuality to her shows that was as if Daisy Duke started a Rock band. She had the grace as she matured to find another voice which she did with her amazing researched Mexican Ballads and her rendering of Nelson Riddle. For Linda with her outspoken political views to be denied entry into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is to glorify a static lifeless museum and deny Rock in Roll itself.

  37. I agree, she should be in the Hall. One reason she isn’t may be that she is not a writer, does not play an instrument (one can argue that the voice is an instrument, I suppose). She has been a major influence on countless singers over the past years. Put her in!

  38. there are some questionable inductees THERE SHOULDMBE NO QUESTION HERE – SHE BELONGS – one then best and most versatile of all time

  39. there are questionable inductees. SHE WOULD NOT BE ONE – the best voice and most versitile of all time

  40. Very well put Sam your last sentence I’m too disgusted with people to find the right words.Dan might have forgot Linda played tamborine,some guitar,could pop out some timing on sticks,played some violin and probably can play some piano she has helped in production of her music and has written some I’m told .She also is bilingual or so. I guess it comes down too rock hall can’t be out done. I wish Linda would pop out a tune that would free kids from self destruction from the decite of others and champion them to move on with their lives to see better things their capable of. I really like Emmylou Harris also I think Arron Neville would be a fantastic singer for America the Beautiful I think it would be absolutely stunning.

  41. Maybe it’s because of the way she was politically campaigning in Las Vegas and the casino fired her and told her not to come back! These entertainers should realize that we (the public) don’t really care about there political views! We only paid to hear their songs!

  42. The best all around voice ever. Whitney and yes Barbara will have to take a backseat to Linda.

  43. I continue to be so surprised by the fact that Linda is not inducted into the RRHF – especially after seeing the class of 2011. She clearly needs someone (hello, Don Henley, the Eagles???) to push for her to be nominated. It clearly will not happen on it’s own. Very sad although kudos to her because she probably doesn’t care!

  44. Madonna and Run DMC are in, a talentless group of hacks like BonJovi get nominated (hopefully for the one and only time) and Linda Ronstadt is not even ever nominated. I think a major reason has to do with the fact that the morons who control the historically-recreated versions of “Fossil Rock Radio”, the ones who have found a niche playing the same 100 songs ad nauseum to mostly those who smoked or drank their brain cells to death in the 70s, long ago whitewashed Linda from their playlists. So, out of sight (or hearing), out of mind as far as they are concerned. No logical reason for it, other than whomever they have deemed to have been important make the cut, and the rest never happened. So hundreds of groups that made major impacts at the time are cast aside to force the likes of Aerosmith, Skynyrd and others into heightened levels of all-time fame by incessantly playing their abridged discographies – you get a song or two in rotation, unless you are Floyd or Zeppelin, then maybe 5. And people apparently listen to the same songs over and over for years, in some kind of Wayne’s World trance, and forget about everything else. So since Linda Ronstadt doesn’t fit this mold or into most formats, mostly because she dared to try other things, most Fossil Rock fans forget she was far bigger than most of the crap on “Classic Rock???” radio. Dumb, but no dumber than voting in Madonna, as talentless musically as my grandmother who also had nothing to do with rock and roll.

  45. For Kevin – And don’t forget Screamin’ Jay Hawkins !!

    For Rockin Bob – You’re right. I went to a Glenn Beck concert and walked out. The guy didn’t sing one song…just blabbered on about politics.

  46. I was there near the begining, watching Linda perform at THE PALOMINO CLUB in the San Fernando Valley. For me her entitlement has nothing to do with the number of hit records she had. Ronstadt’s unique ability to totally absorb the emotions of ANY SONG she’s sung and project them into the microphone eclipses all others. The nuances she adds to her delivery is astonishing. Linda has no peers.

    Bob Dorff

  47. @Neville: it’s hard to have a rational discussion of Linda’s qualifications for the R&RHOF without knowing the criteria for admission.

    Is writing (music and /or lyrics) ability one of the criteria? If so, are there any artists or bands already in the R&RHOF that did not write most of their songs?

    Let’s have a real discussion here and save the sniping for Facebook.

  48. No— songwriting is not a “requirement” for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Many performers are in that did not write, most notably Elvis, who wrote fewer songs than Ronstadt. Rockin’ Bob, you have your facts wrong! Linda was not fired from the Aladdin. She was on tour, was booked for one show, and completed the show. Aladdin manager Timmons lied to the media and said she was fired, but if you check, you’ll find that it was actually he was fired. And by the way, Linda did not campaign that night. She performed her entire concert, then came out for an encore and took a few seconds to recommend a movie and dedicate a song, which drove a few Republicans in the audience to behave boorishly. It must have been a slow news day for this to have even been reported.

  49. I was stunned to learn that R&R HALL OF FAME does not include an artist of LINDA RONSTADT’S rare and universally hailed ability. Her unique talent allowed her to mesmerize audiences of all ages, walks of life and people from scores of countries. Overlooking this reflects great discredit on RRHOF and will not be forgiven until that deplorable situation has been corrected.

  50. Besides the stone pony song she never rocked.She just did covers of other peoples songs .She has a good voice but she didnt put any passion or soul into the songs.She even said in the early 1980′s she didnt like to sing rock and roll.And her attitude about the Ramones proves it.If there is a Pop hall of fame she could be in it but she sure dont ROCK

  51. Why does known ever acknowledge Linda’s song Dreams to Dream. She should be winning awards just for that song. By far some of her best work. Just forget the fact that it was in a kids movie and just listen to it.

  52. I now refer to the Rock Hall as “Jann Wenner’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame”.

    The fact that Wenner personally decided to keep the Dave Clark 5 out of their rightful place in the hall when they had fairly won the vote underscores his tendency to place his old cronies above those adored by the public at large. That travesty of justice was worsened by the fact that singer Mike Smith died before Wenner finally allowed the band to be inducted. (And has Wenner ever apologized?) http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,258664,00.html

    That’s when I became convinced that we can expect no fairness from Jann Wenner’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame until Wenner is gone and someone who lacks a personal agenda takes over.

    I won’t say that the Ramones, Patti Smith and Wenner’s other favorites should never have been inducted, but they absolutely shouldn’t have been inducted ahead of so many others who are more worthy, more loved around the world and achieved much more significant impact during their careers.

    The fact that so many who achieved “commercial success” have been shut out is ridiculous. Commercial success comes when massive numbers of people support your work by laying out quantities of their hard-earned cash, and there’s no stronger vote of support than that!

    I guess if there was a “Rock Magazine Hall of Fame” Rolling Stone should be left out, because it has been a commercial success.

  53. @steve b

    It is true that Ronstadt left R&R behind her to evolve her musical style. It is also true that during the years she became less involved in R&R music and explored other types of music such as Jazz standards or Mexican Folk songs, however, describing Linda Ronstadt as a soulless singer who was singing R&R just to sell commercial records is extremely unfair. You can find a lot of old interviews published at the end of the 60s – early 70s where she describes her love and interest for R&R music and she was one of the most representative and instrumental artists for the creation of Country-Rock music, in fact, her “Linda Ronstadt” album, published at the beginning of the 70s, still is one of the best Country-Rock albums ever published. I don’t deny that during the80s she dedicated more attention to the development of her voice and abandoned Rock music, but judging hastily Linda Ronstadt and forgetting the importance that this artist has had in the history of Rock and Roll music is really unfair. Perhaps you should try to discover Ronstadt a bit more before writing superficial comments like the one that you have posted.

  54. There are so many artists that are not in the R&RHOF that should be.
    For instance, Vanilla Fudge. They seem to have honored all the psychedelic music that came from the west coast and England, but not Vanilla Fudge, or the Iron Butterly. How about Blood, Sweat and Tears. What about Jack Scott. Before Ted Nugent, Bob Seger, Mitch Ryder of Glen Frey, Jack Scott was the first out of the Detroit scene, and that includes Motown to become successful. Linda Ronstadt is right in their.

    I find it strange that Patti Smith, Bessie Smith, Brenda Lee and Billie Holiday are in the R&RHOF, and Linda Ronstadt isn’t. Add people like Roy Buchanan, Lonnie Mack and Michael Kamen, and you begin to wonder if they’ll see their day with the Hall of Fame as well.

    Perhaps they should go back to the amount of inductees they had yearly back when they started. It seems like the amount of inductees seems to dwindle yearly. They need to re-axamine their induction process.

  55. Bruce -

    Jack Scott was the second article in this series. Check it out if you haven’t already.

  56. I had the pleasure of working with Linda many years ago when she appeared outdoors at Forest Hills in New York. I was part of her crew and considered myself lucky to be paid to listen to her sing. She belonged with the best then. She has one of the purest voices I have ever heard. No vocal tricks, Just pure power and gorgeous phrasing. No one sings Desperado like she can. Wake up Hall of Fame voters. Jack Fuler

  57. I can’t believe steve b (see comments above) has ever listened to a linda ronstadt album. she has done far more than just covers of other people’s songs. and she certainly rocked, especially in concert. as far as her opinion of the ramones, it’s easy to see why she didn’t like them- compared to what she does, they are monotonous. But her opinion of the Ramones or even Led Zeppelin is irrelevant. Also irrelevant is Linda’s arrogant attitude toward her own pop/rock legacy. I think she deserves induction based on her body of work and her influence on other artists that continues to this day.

  58. I think Linda Ronstadt’s political statement in Las Vegas is at the very heart of Rock and Roll. Surprisingly most of Dylan’s songs are about love, not politics, yet it is those politics that is what he is remembered for (Protest music) He is one of perhaps the ten greatest American artists, yet politics got him into hall of fame. You say he wrote them, yes he did but he spoke them in concert too. I heard him in Jersey with Tom Petty say to the huge crowd, something to the effect of “I am sick of seeing the same rich corporate faces get the best seats” and then said “Some of you people who work for a living come down here and take some of these empty seats!” They did. He stopped playing and refused to play until the people in the ‘nose blees’ seats came down and took front row empty seats! Lindas staement was the same Rock and Roll rebellion.She was nearly crucified.It’s one thing to go to a ‘Glen Beck concert’ which by it’s very name is a contradiction in terms. Nothing about him is musical.
    Linda’s music like Dylans is at the heart of Rock and Roll, C’mon ‘Tumbling Dice”When will I be Loved” even that under appreciated ‘New Wave’ album with ‘How do I make you’ Rock in Roll. Rock in Roll is about freedom to move and freedom to have yeah fun. It is also political Rock and Roll is at the very birth of our nation man,it is really Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”

  59. The Ramones, The Clash and The Sex Pistols are in,but the band that was THE major influence on all of them, THE NEW YORK DOLLS, get the brush off every year…totally ridiculous!!!

  60. Linda Ronstadt has always been slighted by various organizations and productions giving credit to the pioneers in women’s rock. Tons of bios on Pat Benetar, the Wilson sisters, etc. have been done trying to credit them or others as being a “groundbreaker” for 70′s women’s rock. The fact is that Ronstadt preceded all of them, and while she did mostly covers, those covers were overwhelmingly R&R covers so the argument that she didn’t “rock” is undeserved. Truth is Linda has the best, most versatile, and most powerful voice of all the 70′s rock queens. Although Benetar has tried to move into jazz and standards, she has failed miserably. Same for most all the others. Shame on the RRHOF for not inducting this amazing multi-talented pioneering rock singer. Start a petition, and I’ll gladly sign!

  61. Linda didn’t, in fact, “abandon” rock and roll or country-rock after her Riddle and Canciones albums. Anyone who follows her career would know that she put out several pop/rock/country albums in the 90s (Winter Light, We Ran, Feels Like Home, Western Wall with Emmylou Harris) featuring songs by Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Sinead O’Connor, to name a few notable songwriters. Further, she continued to perform many of her rock and country songs in concert during that time and into the 2000s as well. I would also hasten to add that when you have a once-in-a-lifetime voice like Ronstadt’s, there is nothing wrong with using your gift to sing other genres of music more challenging to a vocalist of her caliber. Finally, Ronstadt DID rock — on record, in concert — certainly as much as The Eagles did, and certainly more than James Taylor or Dusty Springfield (whom I adore) ever did. There is not a single reason anyone can give as to why Linda Ronstadt should not be in the RRHoF that wouldn’t apply to any other person already inducted. Induct the woman already!

  62. Richard -

    Perhaps abandonment should have been in quotation marks…Basically, I was referring to her comments which, if I remember correctly, said that basically she was bored with Rock and wanted to branch out. I also wrote that she should be commended for that and that artists are unfairly criticized for “abandoning” Rock every time they try something different.

    Phill

  63. I hear you, Phill. It wasn’t you specifically I was addressing since the “bored with Rock” is a common charge leveled against her. What she really said was that she was bored singing rock, specifically the same songs she’d been singing for twenty years or so. As I mentioned, with a voice like hers, who can blame her? And if one listens to her forays into other genres, one is instantly struck by the fact that she uses a completely different “voice” singing standards or mariachi than she uses when singing rock. For example, she uses a very chesty tone when singing mariachi that you never hear when she’s singing rock. One only has to listen to, say, “It’s So Easy” and follow it with the track “Verdad Armaga” (from the tropical latin album, Frenesi) to appreciate what an astonishing talent she has.

  64. If Linda Ronstadt is not in the R&R Hall of Fame then I guess the hall of Fame means nothing. It is just a memorabilia room. Like Baseball’s with out Pete Rose.

  65. Linda Ronstadt like Joan Baez have two of the most beautiful voices in pop or any other kind of music. They have been in the business for over 50 years and have sold millions & millions of records. They both have great taste and have been on the right side of social issues. WHO REALLY CARES ABOUT THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF SHAME? It is obviously a political “OLD, (I mean OLD) BOYS” club. Just look at some of the trolls that are in it. It is really more of an honor to NOT be associated with the ugly aspects of rock music, and much of rock music is ugly. So that may be the reason. Linda and Joan’s music, lives and career’s have been honored with many, many awards. And many of these awards are much more prestigious than the RRHF.
    Trust me Linda & Joan are not losing sleep over this ridiculous thing.

  66. One of the other convenient “excuses” that I think gets used, though of course never in the open, to deny Linda’s place in the Hall of Fame is that, whereas so many of the female artists that are in there now often come from a blues, R&B, or gospel background, a large part of Linda’s musical background is in the country-and-western genre, most notably in how Hank Williams and Patsy Cline influenced her, along with the bluegrass influences that came out of the fringe of the folk music revival that occurred at the beginning of the 1960s. The country music genre, though it helped with the formation of rock and roll in the early 1950s, is still treated as something of a bastard child by rock historians.

    The fact, however, is that, if Linda hadn’t shown the bravery to reconnect rock with its white country music roots back in the late 1960s, at a time when country music was being derided as “redneck noise”, the music world would likely be devoid of a ton of great female singers who have followed Linda’s polished but rootsy example in terms of country-rock, Americana, or “alternative country.” Whatever one thinks of her other efforts in opera, Mexican rancheras, the Great American songbook, or Latin jazz, one must take into consideration what not only her good pal Emmylou Harris, but also women like Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, Tift Merritt, and many many others have said about her. The record speaks for itself.

  67. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is one man’s politics as to who may or may not enter. It is not, and probably never will be based on the quality or popularity of eligible singers. Linda can blow most other singers in almost all genres right out of sight. She IS that good!

  68. When other female rockers such as Pat Benatar say that RONSTADT is the Queen of Rock & Roll… way does anyone think she should NOT belong in the R&RHOF???? Oh Yeah!!!! Only one bitter OLD man’s opinion matters when it comes down to inductees… not what the artists have actually done for R&R music!!!
    Linda and the others who have been ‘snubbed’ are in a much more ELITE group than the inductees!!
    11 Grammys 28 overall nominations.. Tony.. Golden Globe… Alma… Hell, the only thing Linda has not been nominated for or won is an Oscar!!
    In Any respect RONSTADT ROCKS!!!!

  69. honestly it doesn’t matter what the nay sayers have to say…. She was and is one of THE best female vocalists ever. Who cares if she wrote her music… she picked some of the best songs and if you see interviews with the songwriters… they wanted her to sing their songs (she was friends with most of them). it’s the public that is overly critical and most album reviewers too. people will always find something “wrong” with her/her music to justify their opinions. sucks for them bc they are missing out on some good stuff. ha!

  70. Listen to her vocal on Long, Long Time. That alone shows what a terrific singer she was/is. She should be inducted into the R&RHOF today!

  71. Linda Ronstadt is, and always has been, my favorite singer. I had the privledge to see her in concert in the 70′s. What you hear on an album is exactly what you hear in concert! AWESOME. It makes no difference if the Rock n Roll Hall of Shame hasn’t seen fit to recognize Linda, her music speaks for itself and will live forever.

  72. I was at the vegas show.The concert was billed as her doing all of her big hits.Made the trip for that reason.When she came out she said she saw a billboard promoting the big hits.Then she said that this concert isin’t that at all.I guess you should be mad the promoter.The concert was a total let down.Where the trouble happened was she said that i am deadicating this song to a great american,Michael Moore.That it was desperado.That is when the trouble happened.I was heartbroken the way all this went down.When
    i go to a concert i really don’t care for messages or political reasons.Do i think she is the best female singer of all time,YES.Is this rap garbage rock n roll,no.To me there is or has been only two people that can sing any type music and that’s Linda Ronstadt and Elvis Pressley.Neither wrote their music.Does it really matter?We live in a world where someone has a hit and everything sounds the same.If she doesn’t make the RRHF then it is their lost

  73. How many groups have a hit song and then everything else sounds the
    same?The songs that Linda performed,i probably wouldn’t listen too.
    She has made a lot songwriters a lot of money.Who can sing a rock song,country song,blues song and say a Motown song one after the other?What she has a gift for,is how she and Peter Asher made these
    songs her songs.Do you like Bob Dylan’s version of All along the watch tower which he wrote,or Jimi Hendrix’s version? Nuff said!

  74. Linda Ronstadt is one very beautiful, and talented singer, she has had 2 #1 hits, has sold over 50 million records, and has won a whopping 11 Grammy Awards and she is NOT in the Rock and Roll Hall O f Fame!!!!!!!!! COME ON R&R HF selection committee, give this lovely lady her due, she should be in there, COME ON!!!!!!!!!!! and how about Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, and ”Heart” Ann and Nancy Wilson? they deserve to be in there as well.

  75. With the possible exception of Donna Summer, Linda Ronstadt was the
    biggest female star in the world in the 1970′s. She deserves to be in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. She has talent! She can sing all types of music with power and feeling. I listen to her even this day. I love
    the period between 1974-1980. On a personal note, I met Linda before the 1980 Pirates of Penzance show in Central Park. I gave her flowers
    and she gave me 3 autographs! She was very sweet and one the most beautiful women in music. I will always love Linda Ronstadt!

    One more thing, not adding Linda to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame makes
    them look foolish. They have added so many “One hit Wonders” you have to wonder about their credibility.

  76. Yeah, Madonna never abandoned Rock n’ Roll. Wait a minute, she doesn’t even sing Rock n’ Roll. The HOF is a joke.

  77. There is no doubt that Linda Ronstadt should be sitting in a place of honour in the rock and roll hall of fame. the fact that she is not just speaks to the lack of credibility that it has. Personaly I ignor anything to do with the RRHOF. I have my own hall of fame and Linda is sitting right there with all the greats

  78. Rockism – argued by those who favor ‘rock’ over its alternatives – continues to be a common opinion on threads about artists.
    As for Linda, there has been no greater popular vocalist, spanning several eras. She’s had a continuing career for, what? 45 years now… She’s an interpreter with no equal. Perfect pitch is right. She was always toughest on herself and her singing, but the quality of what she released is evident.
    The Rock and Roll Hall of Lame, as Mojo Nixon calls it, can go hang and Jann Wenner – who saw fit to splash Linda’s name and her half-naked image all over his magazine in the ’70s to boost circulation – can go eff himself.
    It’s a ludicrous institution to begin with; how do you quantify and ‘honor’ art, especially a rebellious American art form that became the mainstream? Even commercial considerations – sales – are not the key to induction into this heinous hall. Also: Cleveland, as opposed to, say, Memphis, or Seattle, or NYC, had only a small role in rock history, the merely lobbied for the hall and got it in much the same fashion its rock station WMMS used to win the Rolling Stone Readers’ Poll by stuffing the ballot box year in, year out.
    I remember Jeff Tamarkin covering the hall extensively back in its early days; and I interviewed a real hero, Duane Eddy, who got in after the Hall’s first eight years after being on the ballot every year and someone saying ‘wait a minute’.
    There is no honor or justice in this country anymore anyway, so Linda is better off without such backhanded recognition that now enshrines acts that were fads of 25-30 years ago. She had more success and a better life (because she survived and thrived and kept her art interesting) than many other stars of the 70s.
    Down with the Hall of Fame and long live Linda Ronstadt.

  79. I dont know why the emphasis on Linda Ronstadt doing covers so much. She sang songs , some of which were covered by others before her, but she also did quite a few songs which were not well known before she covered them . In all instances I found her versions to be at least as good if not better than any others. The main point is she was enormously succesful , in hindsight the most successful female artist of the 1970′s, and you dont get to be that without talent; which is obvious to anybody watching videos of her in that era on You Tube

    As for the Hall of Fame there are some very good people in it but why some others are not is a complete mystery …If she has never been nominated as some claim it would be worth the people who do the nominating explaining why…plenty of people evolve musically in their career and there should be no requirement to stick to a particular style for a whole career( look at Joni Mitchell and Neil Diamond)

    As for those who claim she didn’t rock get real.

  80. It is absolutely unfathomable that Linda Ronstadt has not even been nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    From Rock and Roll Hall of Fame web site:
    “To be eligible for induction as an artist (as a performer, composer, or musician) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the artist must have released a record, in the generally accepted sense of that phrase, at least 25 years prior to the year of induction; and have demonstrated unquestionable musical excellence. We shall consider factors such as an artist’s musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, but musical excellence shall be the essential qualification of induction.”

    If I were writing a performance appraisal of her wonderful career….

    Has she demonstrated “unquestionable musical excellence” – ABSOLUTELY!
    Has she had a musical influenced over other artists – ABSOLUTELY!
    Is her body of work long and musically diverse – ABSOLUTELY!
    Did she demonstrate superior style and technique – ABSOLUTELY!
    Lastly did she demonstrate Musical EXCELLENCE – ABSOLUTELY!

    Did she sell records, sell out concerts, successfully cross genres, and make a lasting positive impact on the Rock and Roll scene and on music in general – ABSOLUTELY!

    I really don’t get it. Given the decline in true talent we must endure today that Linda Ronstadt is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a travesty!

  81. Um, hello?

    The singer-songwriter era’s dominance of the charts ended in 1979.

    So it’s time to stop using the decades-old criticism that Linda didn’t write her own music as an excuse to diminish her significance in rock history.

    Great artists who did not write all of their own music and remade older hits from other artists into new ones for themselves include Robert Plant, Elvis Presley, The Pretenders, Elton John, Donna Summer, James Taylor, The Eagles, Aretha Franklin, Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar, Heart, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Mick Jagger, Stevie Nicks, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Jett, Blondie, The Grateful Dead, The Doobie Brothers, etc…

    Greats and supposed pop greats including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand, Cher, Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Madonna, and current superstars like Beyonce have not written all their own music either.

    Linda Ronstadt IS Rock ‘n Roll:

    “Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me”
    “Can’t Let Go”
    “Hurts So Bad”
    “That’ll Be the Day”
    “You’re No Good”
    “Tumbling Dice”
    “Livin’ In the USA”
    “Just One Look”
    “It’s So Easy”
    “Heatwave”
    “How Do I Make You?”
    “Get Closer”
    “All That You Dream”
    “Mad Love”…
    …the list goes on.

    One more thing, as of 2011, despite Linda Ronstadt’s hitting the music charts beginning in the late 1960s, Linda is still not in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. Nor is Stevie Nicks, Pat Benatar, or Heart.

  82. I am in the minority I am sure but I don’t think she should be in the hall, neither should abba or any rap act. I like some of her stuff but most is horrible, just my opinion.

  83. Hey! Linda. If I am ever single again. Will you marry me? I love your singing. I have been a fan forever. God Bless.

  84. How can this be even possible?????
    If anyone has had a stake, a mark, a contibition, to rock and rock Linda has to be that.
    If ever there were a travisty of justice this has to be it!!!!!!
    Nominate and ELECT NOW LINDA RONSTADT TO THE ROCK ASD ROLL HALL OF FAME!!!!
    IF this is not what ROCK AND ROLL is about WHAT IS????
    Let’s man-up or die…..
    This can’t be the status quo…. let’s act now

  85. Linda is a class act! She sings purely for the love of singing and her voice is pure and evocative. None of the popular young artists today come close to her innate talent or versatility in musical style or range. Whether or not she’s ever inducted into the Hall of Fame, Linda transcends any commercial recognition to acknowledge her gift of heartfelt singing and flawless interpretation.

  86. I just saw the list of nnominees for the 2012 class for the rock and roll hall of fame what is wrong with you people??????? what do you have AGAINST Linda Ronstadt!!!!!!!!!!! she was the first woman artist to have 3 straight albums in a row go PLATINUM!!!!!!! if she’s been passed over because of her male flings or her weight, then that’s a real lame excuse if I have heard one. she has a beautiful voice, and has sold so mant records that it is unreal, in addition she has won a unbeleivable 11 Grammys, COME ON!!!!!!! sHE DESERVES INDUCTION!!!!!!!!! I would like to know also what about Pat Benatar? what is wrong with her? I am however delighted that ”Heart” is being considered, as well as Joan”I love rock and roll” Jettshe should have been inducted a LONG, LONG TIME AGO. she has accomplised so much over time, not only with the Runaways, but also with the Blackhearts. PLEASE INDUCT HER!!!!! and ”Heart” and please think about Ms. Ronstadt and Ms. Benatar next time.

  87. Linda Ronstadt,
    I love you. We all love you. I know you will be inducted into the R&RHoF in time. We all know you will be inducted. You ARE a living legend. God only knows where you are able to draw so much passion and feeling to put into your voice and pressence, but it is a pleasure to witness.

  88. linda ronstadt has the best singing voice i have ever heard. i had the pleasure to see her perform live, in 1978, at the forest oaks tennis stadium, in queens, n.y. and she sounded just as good, as if, she were in a recording studio. i was only 18 then, and i am still as big a fan now, at 51. it’s a total injustice..that she is not in the rock n roll hall of fame!

  89. Of course anyone who has listened to her 70′s albums knows that Linda absolutely belongs in the RRHOF. But I am not sure whether she really wants to be in it.

    I don’t think she has ever forgiven Rolling Stone for the infamous “red slip” photo that they published against her objections. It was hugely popular with her male fans, but it made her look semi-slutty and even in the mid-90′s she was still pissed off over it.

    So I think the problem is that RS worries that if it gave her the award, she might just tell them to shove it.

    So never mind. We all know that she belongs there.

  90. As with many of the others here posting their support for Linda being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I agree with their wishes and think it’s utterly stupid that she hasn’t been nominated. It’s criminal that she’s not in but the Eagles are in, the band which she essentially put together at the start of the 70s andd then went out on their own.

    To me, Linda was and is the female equivalent of Elvis. No other female performer ever came close to being that. Linda didn’t have the same kind of set up as Elvis, in that she didn’t have music publishing houses which would’ve allowed her access to songs written especially for her on a constant basis. Songwriting, she wrote a little here and there but possibly never encouraged by management to write more than what she did, or possibly never believed in herself as a songwriter. She played a little guitar but never on record, which if she had probably doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, certainly not to the snoots of the R&RHoF.

    Not having music publishing companies or writing a lot of songs didn’t mean she didn’t get a chance to record and release a song the world hadn’t heard before. The world probably never would’ve heard “Different Drum” if Linda hadn’t recorded the song, despite the fact another act had already recorded the song. And Linda saw the potential for “Long Long Time” even though her record company at the time (Capitol) rejected the song as being too country. Linda’s “Long Long Time” remains a pop gem that’s as fresh now as it was then, four decades after she recorded it. She should be very proud of that song.

    So, she was left with doing quite a few covers. My attitude towards that though is, so what? Her choices for what songs she did do were always interesting. She made some very smart choices, had a knack for remaking an old hit into a new hit, spotlighted new, up and coming songwriters – sometimes giving them more of the spotlight than what they might’ve gotten on their own. She probably did more for the Buddy Holly songwriting catalogue than Paul McCartney’s acquisition of the same. The majority of Buddy’s music wasn’t even available for purchase at the time Linda recorded her versions of “That’ll Be The Day” and “It’s So Easy.”

    And as for being an influence, there’s no doubt that she has influenced other artists, especially other female artists. Maybe the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame has a sexist problem with that, in that maybe they can’t find any testosteroned male rockers who will admit to having been influenced by Linda?

    The fact is Linda meets all of the R&RHoF’s requirements to be nominated for a vote by the hall members, and to be inducted, and then some. Whatever the reasons for their refusal to consider her are unknown but whatever the reasons are, they are unacceptible. And as a fan of hers and a few other acts who are eligible but who likewise have never been nominated, until she (and the others) are nominated and inducted, I have no interest in parting with my money to visit the R&RHoF. As it is, given the old grudges held by Jann Wenner and his crowd, I’d rather see it demolished as it’s nothing but a bad joke.

  91. Great article!! I emailed the folks at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame asking this same question last year when they had the “WOMEN of Rock and Roll” retrospective. Where was Linda Ronstadt? I saw no mention of her in their marketing of this “historical event”.

    The honor of being inducted is long overdue.

  92. @Tony: Deborah Harry (Blondie) is in there for being a trailblazer, as is Patti Smith and several other ladies.

    Linda Ronstadt is NONE of these.
    Dear Fantomex – I’m not sure just what trails Patti Smith blazed, but if I want to listen to trailblazers I’ll put on “Lewis & Clark’s Greatest Hits” or “The Best Of Christopher Columbus.” If I want to listen to great music sung by a truly great singer, I’ll put on anything by Linda Ronstadt – Phill

  93. Linda will always be the queen of ALL Rockers. She transports one to a place we’ve never been before — one which transcends pain and sorrow and leaves us in a state of nervana.

  94. I love Linda Ronstadt! I grew up on her music. She’s a real singer and can sing anything! Why she’s not in the Hall of Fame is beyond me. If anyone should be there, she should!!!!

  95. Anybody who lived through the 70s and 80s knows what a joke it is that she has been her omitted from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was simply the best and the most successful for a good 15 years and continued branching out into her 60s. Her voice and music are pretty much the template for what became modern day country music. And anybody who has ever seen her live can attest to the unbelievable power and beauty of her voice and her amazing musicianship. Nobody even came close. Being left out of a tribute to the women in rock says more about the idiots who put it together than about Linda. They are trying to rewrite history. By ignoring people like Ronstadt the Hall of Fame is destroying its own credibility. She defined a decade. Isn’t that really the definition of what belongs in a Hall of Fame?

  96. The omission of Linda Ronstadt from the Rock and Roll Hall of fame lessens the credibility of that establishment as an authority on Rock and Roll. Give me a break!

  97. Linda Ronstadt’s achievements and legacy in music (not just rock and roll) is well documented and the many lives that she has touched with one of the most distinctive and emotional voices ever heard. Linda’s musical career doesn’t need to be “justified” by induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. We all need to stop protesting to the cynical mob who determines who makes it to the “Hall” and start celebrating the woman and music that we all love.

  98. I cannot stand Linda Ronstadt. I don’t really like her music, and I especially do not like the way that she brings her politics in your face if you are at her show (She has said something like “If there are any Republicans in the Audience You can leave right now”) So that being said, even though I do not like her music, there is no doubt that she is an extreme talent, and her achievements are way more than enough to make the Rock Hall. It seems that they are playing politics now. So if the OJ Simpson can be in the NFL hall of fame, it’s ridiculous that Linda Ronstadt is not in the Rock Hall of Fame.

  99. Linda Ronstadt should be inducted to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She has trancended all Musical Genres. I would have liked to see her try her hand at progressive rock. It would have been cool to see her interpret a Yes Song.

  100. Linda Ronstadt paved the way for female solo artists in the 60′s. Hey the woman has earned 11 Grammys! Some who have been inducted to the R&R Hall have never won any Grammys, like Stevie Nicks, for example, she has never won a single Grammy award for her solo career, only with Fleetwood Mac, yet she has been inducted…shows what poor taste in music the people who give out these awards have, as far as I’m concerned, they don’t know a good singer when they hear one! I’ve seen Linda in concert a couple of times and she can blow out the windows with just her voice and a piano! Others, like Ms. Nicks, rely on their band and back up singers to make them sound good. Leaving out someone like Linda Ronstadt off a Rock and Roll “Who’s Who” list proves just how meaningless being inducted into their (so called) Hall of Fame really is.

  101. I also agree that it is a travesty that Linda Ronstadt has not been inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was, in fact, a trailblazer. She was the first female power vocalist. She led the way for the power vocalists of the 80s. The Whitney Houstons, et al, followed and got all the attention but they walked in Linda’s footsteps, but without the finesse. Linda was not all about just the power. And Linda was fortunate to come along in a time when audiences were happy to listen to a singer who SANG. We didn’t come to watch a striptease and light shows and the other distractions. She sang in a time before the computer enhancements. When she sang, it was all her — a voice that was pure and strong. She was emotional, interpretive and powerful. And she moved across the genres: country, folk, rock, pop, alternative, jazz, American standards, Latin — she does it all. Finally, she sang for an audience that was comfortable with itself as adults. As she has aged and grown, we have grown with her. She took us all on her journey and expanded our understanding of the world of music. She introduced us to new genres that many of us may never have experienced. In that capacity she brought us all together in new ways. That’s trailblazing in the best sense of the word.

  102. P.S. I don’t care for her politics, either. But the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is recognition of her talent and professional achievement. The fact is most musicians are pretty “out there” anyway and tend to be pretty liberal. In that sense, Linda Ronstadt’s not much different than the rest of them. But that’s no reason to deny her what she’s earned for a lifetime of hard work and genuine talent. She deserves this and the HoF needs to know this.

  103. Come on guys, time to give Linds her well deserved do. She added do much to her days in the limrlight.if mick and the boys belong so does zlinds

  104. I just don’t see it, and I think I never will. She is a commercially successful artist, maybe not to Carole King or Whitney Houston levels, but successful. But beyond that there really isn’t much else. Of course there are instances when someone is so commercially successful that it overshadows everything else (Houston may be a good example again), but that really doesn’t apply to Ronstadt. She was not really the first female rock superstar, a distinction that goes to Janis Joplin. (No one can honestly call her music edgy). She cannot really be called a pioneer (overlooking a bevy of female pop singers from that era like Cher and the so-called 1960s “girl” groups, you had Joplin and Slick and bands like Fanny and Smith and later Suzi Quatro. The Carpenters hit in 1970. Joplin and King both hit multi-platinum status in 71/72. Oliver Newton John had hit the charts in 1974. Fleetwood Mac with Stevie Nicks emerged in 1975 and Heart a year later. (Ronstadt’s own commercial breakthrough came in 1975 with Heart Like A Wheel).
    Really what you are left with an artist who achieved commercial success in the mid 70s singing mainly covers (she had virtually no song writing credits on her albums and none of note and no she didn’t have the historic or cultural impact of Elvis) and who was thoroughly mainstream and middle of the road. Think Celine Dion, albeit without the same level of album sales. If you factor in things like artistic merit, creativity, historical/cultural impact (despite her success she really did not leave any really imprint of subsequent musical or stylistic trends), innovation both musically and in terms of the image she presented, etc., she is in my humble opinion lacking. Yes she a good voice. (Maybe not on the level of Judith Durham or Karen Carpenter, but certainly good enough to carry her career.) And yes she had a long, successful career. But unless the R&RHF simply takes every commercially successful artist without critically considering other factors, there are legitimate reasons she has never been nominated. There are certainly artists who have yet to be inducted that I would place ahead of her. (e.g. Chicago).
    Oh Dog, you’re showing your age. Joplin the first female Rock superstar? What about Connie Francis and Brenda Lee? What about Dionne Warwick and one you mentioned, Cher? And what about Aretha?

  105. I did mention girl groups and female pop singers. Was Connie Francis pop? Were the Shangri-Las? Or the Supremes and Shirelles R&B?
    Anyway, the argument is always that Ronstadt was allegedly the first female rock “superstar”, that she played arenas as opposed to halls, that others had hits but she allegedly took it to another level, etc. By that criteria I would definitely go with Joplin. It is simply an exaggerated claim that is repeated over and over again by her fans.
    The only reason I commented here is because I noticed that this wsa the most popular story on the site, which verifies my unscientific observation that Ronstadt’s fans are the most vocal of all allegedly snubbed artists. I have nothing against her, but I just don’t think her exclusion is such a travesty.
    No – Take it from someone who was there. Connie Francis was Rock. And I’m showing my age…I forgot Motown’s first superstar…Mary Wells

  106. It seems that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has serious issues with artists that were capable to reinvent themselves throughout their careers? I would think they would recognize how versatile these artists were and still are in many cases. Linda, Connie Francis, Paul Anka are just three perfect examples. Is it only me that noticed it or am I just dreaming it? :o)

  107. To Astrodog: Can you give me the reason why Donna Love was inducted into the RRHoF? Find me what this woman has done that is worthy of that honour? There are some female artists of her era that had a lot more impact and influence in the music industry than her. So far I found NOTHING that makes her more qualified than Linda Ronstadt or Connie Francis, just to name these two. Also, why using the word FAME if many of the FAMOUS artists don’t qualify. I think the RRHoF is a travesty and this is why I believe a Music Hall of Fame, which should be nothing like the RRHoF, is needed. We need to recognize the popular artists as much as the influential ones. It’s that simple to me!
    Sylvain means Darlene Love

  108. I stopped trying to decipher why certain acts get inducted while others don’t long ago. It’s not the most consistent process. I would guess that it has something to do with Love’s recording career going back to the 1950s, but quite a few acts not in the R&RHF can make that claim.
    The issue is why Ronstadt should be inducted and why her exclusion is unjustified. If she wasn’t really a pioneer and wasn’t really the first female rock superstar (be it Francis, Joplin or whomever) and didn’t write her own material and was not the greatest female vocalist of all time (she was a good one undoubtedly) and didn’t really do anything new or innovative or influential, then you are left with a commercially successful artist for whom there is a case for and against. I just humbly think there are more deserving artists who don’t get the vocal support but who have a better claim. That said, if Ronstadt eventually gets inducted, so be it. But to me, trying to be objective, her exclusion is not the earth shattering travesty that is often suggested.

  109. Regardless of what astrodog says, it is obvious he does not like Ronstadt at all. Some of his facts are wrong. Commercially, she had much more of an impact than Carole King, who is mainly remembered vocally for one huge album. RIAA sales figures verify this. She was the most successful female artist of her era. Granted, in the Celine/Mariah era, sales were bigger. Is it really fair to compare Connie Francis to Ronstadt to Celine? Linda did reach a level of sustained success that had eluded all female artists before her except Streisand, who I do not consider a rock singer.

  110. Olivia Newton-John was not a rock artist in the same sense as Linda Ronstadt. Having seen them both in concert, Olivia would not be a candidate for the RRHoF. If you think Linda is not in the same class vocally as Karen Carpenter, I can only assume you are not very familiar with her work at all other than the hits. It is arguable if she was the “first” female rock superstar. So what? Is there only a slot for the first one. If you say she was never innovative, you are FOS. Commercial success Linda had, but the Hall of Fame has established that is not even a consideration, which is obvious from some of the inductees, so why discuss her platinum collection? Writing her own material does not seem to matter for many of the female artists who have already been inducted, so why should that exclude Ronstadt? I am just curious, astrodog, if you have commented on any of the other artists in this series that you find to be “meh” or do you just have a problem with Ronstadt?

  111. When you really get down to it, there is a definite dearth of women in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. Stevie Nicks isn’t in there for her solo work (only as a member of Fleetwood Mac); Pat Benatar isn’t either; and Heart, while they were considered just this year, were suspiciously axed from induction at the last minute. But Linda’s being shut out is really quite egregious, when you consider the scope of what she has done just in rock alone. Not only has she done rock and roll itself, but she has also done all the various different styles that make up rock and roll to begin with: jazz; blues; R&B; gospel; folk; bluegrass; pop; and country.

    While many of her hits were reworkings of established rock, R&B, and country songs from the 1950s and 1960s, she also helped to bring a lot of great contemporary songwriters like J.D. Souther, Warren Zevon, Karla Bonoff, and others to prominence. And when one considers the influence she has had on other female singers that have been inspired by her–everyone from Nicolette Larson, Jennifer Warnes, and Rosanne Cash, to Trisha Yearwood, Sheryl Crow, and Tift Merritt, the statistics literally SCREAM for her induction. Jann Wenner and his merry band really do need to grow up out of whatever male testosterone hangups they have and induct Linda.

  112. I rest my case. The most vocal fanbase of all allegedly snubbed artists. My only issue with her is I don’t think she’s worthy. Plain and simple. I have commented other artists. Also there really wasn’t much difference between Olivia Newton John and Ronstadt in the 70s. If Ronstadt was rock at all, it was not exactly edgy or threatening. Like I said, there is a case for and against, but most importantly there are more worthy candidates ahead of her.

  113. Thank God you’ve rested your case. I thought you always liked to get in the “last word.” I did not realize that only edgy or threatening artists qualified for the hall of fame. Looks like a lot of people who only had talent need to be thrown out.

  114. Partridge is right, Astrodog is FOS. The woman called the “Queen of Rock” for a decade, on the cover of the Rolling Stone, how many times? At least four that I bought myself, Grammy awards in three decades, not in the Rock Hall of Fame? Linda is not the only deserving artist not in this Wiener-List. If the list were ordered, you might argue whether she should be ahead or behind Stevie Ray Vaughn, but the fact that neither is in the Hall is what makes the RRHOF such a joke. It’s like not giving Cary Grant a Hollywood Star, everyone knows he’s a movie star, and everyone knows Linda was a Rock superstar. You have to have your dog’s ass in the stars to try to defend this omission.

  115. Linda Ronstadt is hands down the best Interpretational singer out there! She is long overdue to her induction into the Hall Of Fame! Makes one question the integrity of the nomination process… Get with it people!

  116. Rolling Stone Magazine holds giant pressure who gets into the HOF. Ronstadt has blown off JW in decades earlier, this is his getting back. Moody Blues have no label backing, their years on a clown label (Deram) and a rarely making money Threshold label is no way to the HOF as well as JW in hate mode with them (no interviews in prime years). Both will never get in.

  117. Linda crossed so many genres together like rock, r&b, country, pop. This was similar to what Elvis was doing. When I listen to “Poor Pitiful Me” and “It’s so Easy To Fall In Love”, chills go down my back. Great performer and artist. She should be in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

  118. Linda Ronstadt in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame….that’s a no brainer. What’s wrong with those dingbats?

  119. I think if you have versatility and can do other music in addition to rock, the RRHOF considers that as a negative. Ronstadt did some fine rock music- classics, by herself and with the Stone Ponies. She is a talented vocalist. She also did Hispanic music, country, and Big Band, This I believe knocked her out of the Hall- same should be said for Connie Francis, who should also be in the Hall, but Connie also was an eclectic vocalist who had no problem singing a Fats Domino, Hank Williams or Johnny Mercer song….

  120. She cannot really be called a pioneer (overlooking a bevy of female pop singers from that era like Cher and the so-called 1960s “girl” groups,

    This is just phenomenally stupid.

    There are literally dozens upon dozens of country singers who either openly state that she was an influence on them or owe their very careers to Ronstadt’s work in the 70s. Or both. Trisha Yearwood has outright stated that Linda Ronstadt is the greatest influence on her career, and paved the way for her. I’ll take Trisha Yearwood’s word over Ronstadt’s influence over a pissant like yours, any day.

    I hear Linda Ronstadt dozens of times when I have to listen to country music at work. Nearly ever country female vocalist who’s had a recording contract since the 80s has obviously “borrowed” from her stylings.

    Modern country music would not exist without Linda Ronstadt’s phenomenal work from the 60s and 70s, or the folk-rock pioneer sounds of The Eagles or Jackson Browne. The latter two are in the HoF, and the Eagles just weren’t that wonderful, truth be told. They aren’t remotely as good as Linda Ronstadt’s voice.

  121. Why isn’t Linda Ronstadt in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame? All the other Southern California and similar classic rock stars are – Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, CSNY, James Taylor, Jackson Brown, Joni Mitchell, etc…

    One of the arguments has been that she didn’t write her own music or music made popular by other singers. Well, then the majority of rock ‘n roll inductees shouldn’t have been inducted because many of them sang and didn’t write. Many of the greatest singers that Ronstadt’s a peer of, like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston et al, are not considered negatively just because they weren’t songwriters or frequently sang music that was previously made popular before they sang them. Other artist who have had hits with cover songs or with music they didn’t write themselves who aren’t criticized – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, The Pretenders, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, James Taylor, Guns ‘n Roses, Aretha Franklin, The Eagles, U2, etc…, and yet some of these artists have already been inducted. And not all of Ronstadt’s hit songs were hit songs by previous artist. Her remakes were as good as, better, or close to being as good as the originals.

    And yes, Linda was a folk, country, pop, Mexican, light operetta singer. Nut she is also a rocker. She was The Queen of Rock ‘n Roll hands down throughout the entire 1970s. Janice Joplin, Grace Slick and Tina Turner were in the 1960s, and Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Heart, Chrissie Hynde and Debbie Harry were in the late 1970s and 1980s, after Linda paved the way. Ronstadt was the first solo female artist to consistently sell out tours performing in arenas and stadiums. It wasn’t Ronstadt’s peers Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Carole King, Heart, or pop superstars Barbra Streisand, Olivia Newton-John, Donn Summer or Diana Ross.

    The critics and public have always held her to a different standard than other artists, and unfairly. In the early 1980s, Ronstadt was criticized by some (mainly rock critics) for playing two concerts, as a replacement for Frank Sinatra, inSouth Africa under apartheid, at a time when Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Tina Turner, Sinatra, Shirley Bassey and Cher were also performing there. Yet no one slammed those artists for singing in So. Africa.

    And she’s been criticized for being a dilletante and switching music genres and images (successfully), but when David Bowie, Madonna, Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Blondie, et al do it, they are complimented.

    So getting back to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame snub, So what’s the holdup? I don’t get it.

    And by the way, Heart, Pat Benatar, Joan and Stevie Nicks (solo artist), Donna Summer, Bette Midler, Cher, Carole King (she is only in as a songwriter not a singer), and Carly Simon are still not in the Hall of Fame either, although Aretha Franklin, Madonna and Abba are (all great artists, but not rockers).

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