Linda Ronstadt was a powerhouse.
The now-retired singer, former Stone Poneys frontwoman and Trio member has been an icon in rock, country, folk and American popular music for more than 50 years now, since releasing her debut solo studio album Hand Sown…Home Grown in 1969. Not only does she boast 10 Grammy wins from a total 26 nominations, but she also was the first artist to top the pop, country and R&B charts simultaneously. As Dolly Parton says in the trailer for the new film about Ronstadt’s life and career, “Linda could literally sing anything.”
Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (out Sept. 6 in L.A. at Arclight Hollywood, and in New York City at the Independent Film Forum and The Landmark at 57 West) explores Ronstadt’s relationship with music, from her earliest days joining her family for renditions of traditional Mexican canciones to making unforgettable folk music with the Stone Poneys to pop and rock dominance in the ’70s and ’80s. The film features archived footage of Ronstadt, as well as new interviews with Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder, David Geffen and others.
Today (Aug. 29), you can watch an exclusive clip of one of those interviews, with founding Eagles member Don Henley, right here at Paste. In the clip, Ronstadt says she stumbled upon Henley and his band Shiloh (the second iteration of his first band Felicity) performing her version of “Silver Threads And Golden Needles” one night at the Troubadour in Hollywood. “And I just went, ‘WHAT?’” Ronstadt exclaims in the archived interview. She was impressed with the drummer, Henley, and invited him on tour.
Rob Epstein (The Times of Harvey Milk) and Jeffrey Friedman (Howl) directed the film, which also tracks Ronstadt in her early work as a human rights activist, her rise to fame in a male-dominated industry and her relationship with California governor Jerry Brown. She eventually lost her voice to Parkinson’s disease, but Ronstadt certainly remains one of the most important vocalists in the history of American pop music.
Watch the exclusive clip below. While you’re at it, keep scrolling to watch The Sound of My Voice director Jeffrey Friedman discuss the movie with Brad Wagner in the Paste Studio. Further down, find a clip of Linda Ronstadt performing “Heat Wave” in December 1975 via the Paste archives.
Read: The 15 Best Linda Ronstadt Songs