Hear Linda Ronstadt’s voice in new film

Arrion Smith

CNN Films and PCH Films released “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” to theaters on Sept. 13. At the Lyric’s showing, the room was filled with original fans of the diverse artist with popcorn in hand. From the voices that were incorporated throughout the film to the videography and the story that was told, the film truly showed who Ronstadt is. 

“The Sound of My Voice” starts with a montage of clips of Ronstadt’s most iconic moments in music. From the start, we get a little taste of who this artist truly is. The film then goes into Ronstadt narrating in the background, which was a great touch and added realness. She tells us about her childhood in Tucson, Arizona. Coming from Mexican heritage, her family sang traditional music, and she naturally picked up singing abilities.


“She learned vibrato when she was 5-6 years old,” said her brother, Peter Ronstadt.

Her passion grew from a young age and would continue to turn into something even bigger. 

The film then goes on to highlight the musical powerhouse’s big career moments. After moving to Santa Monica, California, when she was 18 years old, her band, the Stone Poneys, quickly took off. Along with friend and band member Bobby Kimmel, she created hits like “Different Drum.” Shortly after, Ronstadt was asked by her label to go solo, continuing to make hits like “Desperado,” “You’re No Good” and “That’ll Be The Day.” 

Linda knew a good song and how to sing it better.” – J.D. Souther, singer and songwriter

The film not only discussed Ronstadt’s successes as a performer but who she is as a person. Throughout the movie, interviews are shown with Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Peter Asher, J.D. Souther and many other artists and producers who knew her personally. The way that they talked about her through the film makes Ronstadt seem like a fierce and strong woman who is also very humble and caring. The personal interviews made it easier to relate to her as a person and an artist.

“Linda knew a good song and how to sing it better,” said musician and Ronstadt’s former boyfriend J.D. Souther.

Ronstadt was a diverse artist who performed pop, folk and rock seamlessly. After being tired of big arena shows, she then worked in operetta and performing traditional Mexican music. Though many people doubted that she could perform such a diverse array of music, especially the technical melodies of opera, she was able to do all of those things with eloquence. Over the course of Ronstadt’s career, she earned 10 Grammys, three American Music Awards, an Emmy Award and was the only female artist to have five platinum albums. 

Linda Ronstadt: “The Sound of My Voice” is now playing at The Lyric

The end of the film discusses Ronstadt’s current battle with Parkinson’s disease and how it has affected her life and career. In 2009, she had her last show where she performed traditional Mexican music. In the interview about the topic, Ronstadt was not afraid to show her emotions. The very end of the movie shows her singing along with her nephew with a positive smile.

I knew of Ronstadt and her music before watching the film, but I did not know how much of a strong woman she is. The film has received an 8.2/10 on IMDb, which I would have to agree with. The other audience members and I could feel the emotion that Ronstadt conveyed through her voice and story.Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” was more than a documentary; it was the real and genuine story of this star that impacted the music industry greatly. 

Arrion Smith can be reached at entertaiment@collegian.com or @arriesmith