Music icon’s life and career are traced in documentary’s TV premiere
Q: The documentary “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” has its television premiere Wednesday (Jan. 1) on CNN, and it’s based on your book “Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir.” Did you like the idea of that being turned into a film?
A: I’d like to say that I had something to do with it, but I really didn’t. The makers did very much their own thing, which was fine with me. They were very respectful, and all I had to do was to provide them with the information that was in the book, which was already public.
I had been trying to avoid (having a movie biography made). I’d had several offers, then they came to me and said that they would use the book … and I thought, “Well, if I give it to them and they use it, that would be OK. And then everybody else would go away.” I didn’t expect it to be successful; I thought that maybe it would be shown for one night on PBS. I’d like to take credit for it, but I can’t.
Q: Though you no longer perform, your song catalog always will endure. Does that give you particular comfort?
A: Music is forever. My music isn’t, particularly, but music will always be around. It’s in our DNA, and it also tells you something about what the culture was going through … which can be a little disturbing. That’s true of both music and fashion.
Q: You’ve been getting many tributes lately — including the Kennedy Center Honors, making you one of a relative handful of music stars to receive that accolade. Have you reflected much on being a part of that group now?
A: I can’t rest on anybody else’s laurels. I’m my own person. I don’t think I was that important, but it’s very nice that somebody else does.
Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.