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'Linda and the Mockingbirds' showcases Ronstadt's country roots

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Shout! StudiosLinda Ronstadt‘s in the Rock Hall, but could she eventually join the Country Music Hall too? 

Despite hits like “When Will I Be Loved” and “Blue Bayou,” the now-retired legend “never considered [her]self a country singer,” instead preferring her Trio equals, creators of eighties classics like “Those Memories of You” and “Wildflowers.” 

“The person that’s had a lot of influence is Emmylou Harris...” Linda insists. “And Dolly [Parton], I can hear a lot of her voice in a lot of the current singers.”

Linda’s roots surface in Linda and the Mockingbirds, which follows the Arizona native to her grandfather’s birthplace of Sonora, Mexico with Los Cenzontles, the California academy that preserves Mexican-American music.

“I related to country music and Mexican Rancheras,” Linda explains, “because they were so similar… They were about the fertility of the earth and moving the cattle around and falling in love.”

Cenzontles means “mockingbirds,” and the documentary juxtaposes the joy of the traditional music of hardworking Mexican-Americans with the possibility of family separation.

“Thirty percent of them [are] under the age of five…” Linda tells ABC Audio, “And then they fly them across the country to New York or New Jersey or some other holding pen, and then they lose track.”

“They weren’t set up to keep track of their parents because the administration is so incompetent…” she continues. “So they wound up putting them in cages like cattle and traumatized those children forever.”

You can stream the film now, as the legend prepares to release some recently-discovered live performances,  and contemplates a return to Music City.

“I’ve heard Trisha [Yearwood]’s singing and I like it, but I haven’t tasted her cooking…” Linda says. “I have to figure out a way to get to Nashville so I can invite myself over for dinner.” 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i89XDw91GRk&w=640&h=360]

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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