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Linda Ronstadt: 1946—: Singer

Abandoned By Group, Began Solo Career

The Stone Poneys played at the Troubadour, a popular Los Angeles venue, where Ronstadt was approached by the promoter Henry Cohen to sign as a solo artist. Naively loyal to her band, she refused, but when the band finally split up, Ronstadt signed with Cohen and then convinced him to work with a reunited Stone Poneys band. The band ended up with a contract for three albums. The second album, Evergreen, Vol. 2, released by Capitol in 1967, included the single "Different Drum," written by Mike Nesmith, and the song reached the charts. Encouraged, Capitol sent the band on a promotional tour, but the trip was a failure. Working as an opening act for more popular groups, the Stone Poneys found themselves playing for audiences who didn't want to listen. Discouraged, Kenny Edwards left the band after the tour.

Ronstadt and Kimmel worked with pickup musicians to stage another tour, as the opening act for The Doors, but Kimmel soon jumped ship also, leaving Ronstadt holding an unfulfilled contract for a third album. Using session musicians, Ronstadt finally completed The Stone Poneys and Friends, Vol. 3, released in 1968, but sales were abysmal. Still under contract with Capitol, Ronstadt released three consecutive solo albums, Hand SownHome Grown, Silk Purse, and Linda Ronstadt. Hand SownHome Grown revealed Ronstadt's lack of confidence and timid singing, but Silk Purse was an improvement, with such songs as "Lovesick Blues" and "Long, Long Time," which reached the top 30 in 1970. Linda Ronstadt contained several well-received singles, including "Rock Me on the Water" and "I Fall to Pieces."

The late 1960s and early 1970s were difficult times for Ronstadt. She went through a succession of managers, producers, and musicians, who did little to help her map out a clear plan for success. She was in debt due to the Stone Poneys' fiasco and was becoming exhausted from touring incessantly. During 1973 she opened for Neil Young and struggled with impatient fans waiting for Young's turn on stage. Ronstadt dealt with her worries, frustration, and significant stage fright with cocaine, but it was a habit she was able to quit following the tour.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Dudley Randall Biography - A Poet from an Early Age to Ferrol Sams Jr BiographyLinda Ronstadt: 1946—: Singer Biography - Began Performing With Family, Abandoned By Group, Began Solo Career, Released Gold And Platinum Albums