Linda Ronstadt Documentary Wins Grammy Award for Best Music Film

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The feature documentary, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice, has won the award for Best Music Film at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on March 14, 2021. The film, directed by Academy Award-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and produced by James Keach and Michele Farinola and CNN Films, played theaters in 2019 and had its television premiere on CNN on New Year’s Day 2000. The film received nearly universal praise. In our review, Best Classic Bands called it a “jubilant portrait of a remarkable vocalist and a humble woman.” Reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has it at 89% positive.

Watch the trailer

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and won the Documentary Audience Award at the Provincetown International Film Festival.

At the Grammy Awards, the title was up against films about ZZ Top, the Beastie Boys, Beyonce and Freestyle Love Supreme.

From the original press release, “With one of the most stunning voices to ever hit the airwaves, Linda Ronstadt burst onto the 1960s folk rock music scene and became the most successful female musician of the 1970s. She sold out stadiums around the world and was the highest paid female performer in rock and roll. Ronstadt’s singing range was second to none and she recorded hit records across rock, opera, jazz and Mexican folk, which channeled her Mexican ancestry.”

Related: Our review of the documentary

Epstein’s and Friedman’s feature documentary is filled with rare archival footage of Ronstadt’s performances and interviews with her friends and collaborators Don Henley, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and JD Souther. Constructed from interviews over 50 years, Ronstadt narrates the film that documents her career from her early days in Tucson, Ariz., through her premature 2011 retirement due to Parkinson’s disease.

Watch a clip from the film featuring an interview with Ronstadt’s one-time bandmate, Don Henley

Related: Ronstadt was among the 2019 Kennedy Center Honorees

Directors Epstein and Friedman have been honored with two Academy Awards, five Emmy Awards and three Peabody Awards. Before becoming filmmaking partners, Epstein won the Academy Award for his documentary The Times Of Harvey Milk in 1985. Together with Friedman, their documentary Common Threads won the Academy Award® in 1990.

Watch Harris and Parton reminisce about their Trio recordings

Related: Our interview with Linda Ronstadt

Best Classic Bands Staff
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8 Comments so far

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  1. Lori
    #1 Lori 29 July, 2019, 08:05

    I absolutely adore Linda. I saw her 4 times in concert, maybe more. She is so special. There is no one like her.

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  2. JCB
    #2 JCB 29 July, 2019, 08:10

    WOW! The greatest pure singer of her generation by a mile. With some of the greatest bands ever assembled. One of the best live performers I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen them all. God bless this living legend.

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  3. The Saguaro
    #3 The Saguaro 29 July, 2019, 11:02

    I’ll never forget seeing her opening for the original Eagles in 1978 at the Jerry Brown for President Benefit concert in Las Vegas. Her encore was bringing Jerry out on stage and singing “My Boyfirend is Back”. A 4+ hour spectacular concert (especially when she sang with the Eagles). Memories…….

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    • MULEY
      MULEY 18 March, 2021, 16:13

      And her singing

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  4. abba2971
    #4 abba2971 29 July, 2019, 17:55

    SOOOOOOOOOOOO looking forward to this on DVD

    Reply this comment
  5. Curt
    #5 Curt 31 August, 2019, 11:24

    Saw the film at The Tribeca Film Festival. A no nonsense celebration of Ronstadt, her scene, the devoted musicians who swirled around her, and her deep musical chops. No pretentious bs and archival concert footage that will knock you out. Younger folks may find her high level of COOL a revelation. In the end, it is that voice – no matter where she took it – OMG that voice.

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  6. BC
    #6 BC 1 September, 2019, 02:53

    Saw her every time she came around. She played at Blossom outside of Akron every year. She wore the boy scout uniform at one of those shows. And what a band. Kenny Edwards, Russ Kunkel, Andrew Gold, Waddy and Dugmore. Always a great show. What a voice.

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  7. Jil
    #7 Jil 15 March, 2021, 18:03

    I remember when I first met my husband he was going to the Palomino iClub n San Fernando valley. He had seen Linda Ronstadt there and fell in love with her. He was in a van club and had Linda Ronstadt posters all inside of his van. of course we listen to her music all the time. Fun memories.

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