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Simple Dreams

A Musical Memoir

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


In this memoir, iconic singer Linda Ronstadt weaves together a captivating story of her origins in Tucson, Arizona, and her rise to stardom in the Southern California music scene of the 1960s and ‘70s.

Tracing the timeline of her remarkable life, Linda Ronstadt, whose forty-five year career has encompassed a wide array of musical styles, weaves together a captivating story of her origins in Tucson, Arizona, and her rise to stardom in the Southern California music scene of the 1960s and ‘70s.

Linda Ronstadt was born into a musical family, and her childhood was filled with everything from Gilbert and Sullivan to Mexican folk music to jazz and opera. Her artistic curiosity blossomed early, and she and her siblings began performing their own music for anyone who would listen. Now, in this beautifully crafted memoir, Ronstadt tells the story of her wide-ranging and utterly unique musical journey.

Ronstadt arrived in Los Angeles just as the folkrock movement was beginning to bloom, setting the stage for the development of country-rock. As part of the coterie of like-minded artists who played at the famed Troubadour club in West Hollywood, she helped define the musical style that dominated American music in the 1970s. One of her early backup bands went on to become the Eagles, and Linda went on to become the most successful female artist of the decade.

In Simple Dreams, Ronstadt reveals the eclectic and fascinating journey that led to her long-lasting success, including stories behind many of her beloved songs. And she describes it all in a voice as beautiful as the one that sang “Heart Like a Wheel”—longing, graceful, and authentic.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 22, 2013 – Born in 1946 in Tucson, Ariz., Ronstadt counted among her relatives a grandfather who wrote an arrangement of Pirates of Penzance generations before she starred in it on Broadway, and an aunt whose collection of folk songs, Canciones de me Padre, would lend its title to Ronstadt’s first Spanish-language album. As a kid, she listened to opera at her grandparents’ house and mariachi rancheras on Mexican radio, and she harmonized with her siblings while singing Hank Williams songs. All this resulted in Ronstadt’s gift for musical genealogy and an almost scholarly dedication to learning the music of different cultures, combined with an insatiable desire to emulate what she heard. Reading Simple Dreams, one sees why its author, a perpetual student of her craft, was awarded an honorary doctorate by Berklee College of Music: the book is a well-written glimpse into musical history as it was being made by Ronstadt and her peers.

Customer Reviews

SIMPLE DREAMS-Awesome musical memoir

I loved this book. I'll probably read it again in a few weeks.

Linda is a national treasure and so glad she still can inspire us all even after her diagnosis.

Linda, you are truly an inspiration. Thank you for the music and for your memoir.

Simple Dreams

I grew up and came of age listening to Linda Ronstadt's music. I bought every album she produced. Some of it I liked more than others, but never did she disappoint me. She set a high bar that even today no other performer has yet to reach. The only time she let me down was when she, in interviews, dismissed all those albums and hits from her heyday in the mid to late 70's-these we're the albums and songs that made her a star and ones that resonated most with me. This book was great in that it gives you a peek into the mind of the performer and the motivation behind her singing. She teases us with just a little of the 70's "Queen of Rock" bit, I just wish she would have opened up the door a bit more and told us more about the songs and albums from that period - the songs that meant so much to me growing up (and still do.)

Great Read

A delightful look at the artistry of Linda Ronstadt's entire career. Has there ever been a more complete singer? From childhood influences that led to folk, to country, to rock, to pop, to opera, to the Great American Songbook, to Ranchera, to Afro-Cuban, to jazz, and some genres I'm forgetting . . . and those amazing musical partnerships with the likes of Emmylou, Dolly, JD Souther, and others: it's all in here. Just a fascinating read at how a most versatile artist pulled it all off and kept it all together. Loved every word of it. Written by the artist who lived each page, it's an incredible journey told by an able storyteller who has done it all musically.

Simple Dreams
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Sep 17, 2013
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings