How a Tucson Radio Station Honors a Legend



KXCI-FM (91.3), a community radio station in Tucson, celebrates Linda Ronstadt’s 75th birthday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 15.

KXCI DJs will share music to celebrate the Tucson native’s legacy in a career that, as the station puts it, has found her “taking with her some of Sonora’s signature culture and character, from the Mexico and southern Arizona to the ends of the earth”.

You don’t have to be in Tucson to stream the station’s celebration on

The Tucson native was among the most successful artists of her generation, selling out “dumb” arenas, as she called them in a recent interview with The Republic, thanks to such huge hits as “When Will I Be Loved” and ” Blue Bayou”. “

How Ronstadt’s Music Crosses Many Genres

After launching her career in 1967 with the breakthrough single “Different Drum,” a baroque ballad credited to the Stone Ponies with Linda Ronstadt, she managed a career-defining run of 10 Top 20 singles from 1975’s “You’re No Good.” to the 1980s. “Wounded so badly.”

From there, she branched out into almost every area of ​​music, from her starring role in “Pirates Of Penzance” on Broadway to her multi-platinum renditions of The Great American Songbook with Nelson Riddle, performing mariachi classics in ” Canciones de mi Padre” and teamed up with Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton on country albums.

After earning a Tony Award nomination in 1981 for her role in ‘The Pirates of Penzance’, she left behind the country, pop and rock sound of her hit years, recording a trilogy of albums celebrating the Great American Songbook with the conductor Nelson Riddle.

These were followed by “Trio,” a 1986 collaboration with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, and 1987’s “Canciones De Mi Padre,” the singer’s debut album of traditional Mexican mariachi music.

In an interview with The Republic in 2018, Ronstadt said: “In the 90s, I did my best singing. That was when I could kind of do what I wanted to do. I could make my voice do it.”

She has won lifetime achievement awards from the Grammys and the Latin Grammys. And though she prefers singing standards and Mexican folksongs to the rock ‘n’ roll she rose to fame on in the ’70s, Ronstadt took her rightful place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

What Ronstadt does now

At the time of this enthronement, Ronstadt had retired.

Unable to perform by her own standards, the singer gave her last performance, a Mexican show, in 2009, and retired two years later, finally learning the cause of losing her ability to sing in late 2012 when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. .

She did, however, tour with a highly acclaimed solo show, A Conversation with Linda Ronstadt, from 2014 to 2018.

“Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” a heartfelt documentary, won Best Musical Picture at the Grammy Awards in March.

The previous October, she received the Legend Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation on PBS.

Contact the reporter at or 602-444-4495. Follow him on Twitter @EdMasley.

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